Ridge View inched closer to a state playoff berth with a 38-20 Senior Night win against Richland Northeast on Friday at Blythewood District 2 Stadium.
The Blazers (6-4, 3-1) enter next week’s regular-season finale against archrival Blythewood with chance to earn a share of the Region 4-4A championship and nail down a state playoff berth for the first time since 2008.
“I’m just real happy for our seniors,” Ridge View coach Raymond Jennings said. “This is the first senior night win for us in a while and we’ll actually be playing a game against Blythewood that means something other than the chance to beat our rival.”
Ridge View has won three in a row since going through a rough stretch of four losses in five games after opening the season at 2-0.
“Sure, we were concerned at that point because we seemed to find every conceivable way to lose a game, but the kids just went back to work and started executing again,” Jennings said.
The win was especially sweet for senior Gary Bradshaw, a three-year starting running back.
“This just feels very good, a lot better than the way things ended for us the last few seasons,” Bradshaw said. “We got down on ourselves when we lost all those games, but we as seniors kept things positive and things turned around.”
Bradshaw had a big night, rushing for 130 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries and catching two passes for 42 yards. His 33-yard screen pass score on a third-and-24 call with eight minutes remaining was the dagger — building the Blazer lead to 35-20.
Receiver Tre’van Howell had two scoring catches and quarterback Nolan Richardson offset three interceptions with three touchdown passes.
The Blazers finished with 362 yards.
“We did a lot of good things tonight — on offense, defense and special teams,” Jennings said. “Hopefully, we’re peaking at the right time. But no matter what, we’ve given ourselves a chance to reach some of the goals we set for ourselves.”
Richland Northeast (5-5, 1-3) will not make the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
The Cavaliers pulled within 28-21 early in the fourth quarter on a short touchdown run by Denzel Washington, but the defense immediately surrendered a scoring drive that put it out of reach.
RNE finished with 72 yards rushing, 267 yards overall.
RV – Tre’van Howell 3 pass from Nolan Richardson (Easam Kablaoui kick), 1:10
RNE – Ryan Howell 17 pass from A.C. Whaley (Sam Lourie kick), 9:42
RV – Howell 3 pass from Richardson (Kablaoui kick), 4:58
RV – Gary Bradshaw 13 run (kick failed), 1:04
RNE – Whaley 14 run (Lorie kick), 6:00
RV – Mitchell Price 12 fumble recovery (Bradshaw run), 4:52
RNE – Denzel Washington 5 run (pass failed), 11:18
RV – Bradshaw 33 pass from Richardson (Kablaoui kick), 8:08
RV – FG Kablaoui 31, 2:17