Week 1: Ridgefield 41, Castle Rock 0
Week 2: W.F. West at Ridgefield, 7 p.m. Friday
The Spudders, who won three of their last four games in 2016, kept their momentum with a shutout in Castle Rock.
Set the tempo early:
The Ridgefield defense was on the field first, and got the ball to the offense in a hurry. Castle Rock went for it on a fourth-and-short play and was denied by the Spudders.
Two plays later on offense, the Spudders were in the end zone.
Tough to see the numbers, but easy to see defensive plays:
There were a lot of solid defensive plays by the Spudders, but in many cases, I could not make out the jersey numbers on the video I was allowed to see. But one defensive stuff at the line of scrimmage came from the tough work of Simon Birkey, who fought through his blocker and brought down the Castle Rock ball carrier.
I also noticed two sacks. Great plays by both defenders. Again, I could not make out the numbers. Fortunately, the Ridgefield coaching staff sent me defensive statistics, too. So I can confidently say those sacks were by Andrew Rommel and Matt Gama.
Just keep scoring:
The Spudders did convert on a fourth-and-2 running play in the first quarter, and seconds later, they were in the end zone.
Later, Jeremy Martin caught a pass on the 25-yard line, made one guy miss, then outran three defenders for an unlikely 31-yard touchdown pass. It was unlikely because there were four guys there who seemed to be in position to make a play. But Martin’s speed, plus a great downfield block, got him to the end zone. (Tough to see the blocker’s number, but I believe it was Brock Harrison. Forgive me if it was not.)
Anyway, the offense was on fire. Quarterback Dawson Lieurance finished 9 for 12 for 245 yards and four touchdown passes. Martin had 118 yards receiving and two touchdowns and 75 yards rushing with two touchdowns.
What did Kim Ulman learn about his team in Week 1? “Our kids played hard and physical, and our O/D lines did a nice job. That was a question mark due to our lack of size and overall experience up front.”
Coach’s pick for MVP of the offense: Jeremy Martin. He had 193 yards from scrimmage with his four touchdowns.
Coach’s pick for MVP of the defense: “Our whole defense played really well as a unit,’’ Ulman said. “No one individual stood out. We had a shutout. For that to happen, we all had to have played well.”
Thoughts on Week 2: “This will be a bigger challenge,’’ Ulman said of W.F. West. “They play a physical style of football but are more two-dimensional than Castle Rock. They are more athletic. We will need to slow down their running game and force them to throw more, which is the opposite of what they want to do. Offensively, we will have to deal with the speed of their defense by using misdirection and staying on our blocks longer than what we did in Week 1.”