Nation Ford rolled off 24 unanswered points to rally past Ridge View, 31-28, on Friday.
Just as they did much of the third quarter to milk the clock, the Falcons kept the ball on the ground, handing several carries to senior back Andrew Bruce, who rushed 13 times for 108 yards and a touchdown.
The Falcons capped their scoring by putting together a long drive to start the third quarter, going 66 yards in 14 plays as senior quarterback Dalton Helms hit senior Brandon Cureton for their second touchdown connection of the game. The score put Nation Ford up 31-28, rallying from a 28-7 deficit to take the lead.
Early in the second and down 28-14, Cureton picked off Ridge View quarterback Terrell Fetterson, giving the Falcons possession at their opponents’ 35.
The Falcons took advantage, scoring in a handful of plays as Bruce pounded his way in from the 1 to make it a one-score game.
Cureton had Fetterson’s number again, intercepting his pass on the Blazers next series, giving Nation Ford the ball deep in its own territory. However, the Falcons’ drive stalled.
The game slowed down in the second quarter after a busy opening quarter, and Ridge View turned the ball over for a third straight series, this time on a fumble by senior Mitchell Brown. Nation Ford struggled to gain yardage and had to settle for a Caleb Bruckner 45-yard field goal. Bruckner was kicking for Falcons’ freshman kicker Lexi Dressing, who had a boot on her right foot and was on the sideline in street clothes.
Nation Ford picked off another Fetterson pass with less than a minute left in the first half as senior Blake Hill grabbed the pass out of midair and returned it to the Blazers’ 43. The Falcons were unable to capitalize as Helms was picked off two plays later.
After a dropped pass on his first target, Cureton turned his second attempt into a 58-yard touchdown to put Nation Ford up 6-0 on the second play of the game.
Ridge View came right back with the help of a 70-yard kickoff return to get started. The Blazers were able to find holes in the Falcons’ defense as they scored six plays later when Fetterson hit junior Okechi Ntiasagwe.
Nation Ford’s defense struggled against the Blazers, who seemed to move the ball at will as Fetterson hit his receivers on dinks and dunks, where they would pick up yards in bunches.
Ridge View continued to score as it added a fourth touchdown before the end of the first quarter with Walter Napper running down the left side of the field for 36-yards to the end zone.
NF – Dalton Hems to Brandon Cureton 58 pass (Caleb Bruckner kick)
RV – Terrell Fetterson 8 pass to Okechi Ntiasagwe (Essam Kablaoui kick)
RV – Walter Napper 3 run (Kablaoui kick)
RV – Terrell Fetterson 38 run (kick blocked)
RV – Napper 36 run (2-point conversion)
NF – Marques Coleman 54 run (Bruckner kick)
NF – Andrew Bruce 1 run (Bruckner kick)
NF – Bruckner 45-yard FG
NF – Helms to Cureton 25 pass (Bruckner kick)