Crest Ridge uses defense to escape Archie
It may not have been easy, but the Crest Ridge Cougars found a way to start the 2016 football season as winners.
The Cougars went to Archie and held on late for a 16-13 slugfest victory that started last Friday night and was finished on Saturday morning when thunderstorms caused the game to be postponed.
Crest Ridge started Friday night off well, scoring on its opening possession with an 11-yard touchdown run from Hayden Ridge and a two-point conversion run from Houston Edwards.
But the Whirlwinds wasted no time in responding, as Kale Wheeler capped Archie's opening drive with a 10-yard touchdown scamper to pull them within 8-6.
The game would remain scoreless through the rest of Friday night and into Saturday morning when play resumed. The fourth quarter saw the action finally pick up again.
Quarterback Avery Matthews seemingly sealed the deal for the Cougars with a one-yard dive into the endzone and a two-point run on Crest Ridge's final drive of the game that stretched the lead to 16-13.
But Archie would not go down without a fight. The Whirlwinds drove down the field in a hurry and got a 10-yard TD pass from Caleb Schacher to Tyler Setzer.
The extra-point kick from Colbey Fenton pulled Archie within three, but there was not enough time to come all the way back.
Ridge led the Cougars with 75 yards rushing on 13 carries. Matthews managed 47 yards on 13 rushes, while Edwards pounded out 22 yards on 6 attempts.
Matthews completed seven of his 10 pass attempts for 95 yards, with receiver Jayson Burnap doing most of the damage and snagging five catches for 89 yards.
Ridge was also a force on defense, piling up 18 total tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks. Wyatt Simpson finished with 12 total tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
Dalton Evans also grabbed 13 tackles in the win. Evans, Matthews and Joe Davis all had an interception for Crest Ridge, which will look to move to 2-0 and start off I-70 Conference action right when they host Santa Fe this coming Friday evening.