WEST LAFAYETTE -- A huge second half rally propelled the host Ridgewood High Generals past Malvern by a 41-20 final score in Inter-Valley Conference action on Friday.
Trailing by a 20-14 margin at the intermission, the Generals exploded in the second half for the "Homecoming Night" victory to improve to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in IVC action.
Zach Donley got things started for RHS in the third period with a pair of touchdown runs.
Donley started with a short two-yard TD run to grab a 21-20 lead following Tevis Whitt's PAT kick at the 3:06 mark, and then followed up with a five-yard run with 1:36 left to extend the lead to 28-20 after three quarters.
In the fourth period, the Generals tacked on two more touchdowns to add to their lead.
Billy Bailey's 23-yard run pushed the Ridgewood lead out to 34-20 with 9:41 left in the contest, then Donley reached paydirt for the third time with a four-yard run at the 2:40 mark for the 41-20 final count.
In the first quarter, the Generals jumped in front when Whitt hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass from senior QB Ryan Lowe at the 8:46 mark for the quick 7-0 lead. Malvern responded with back-to-back scores to take 14-7 after the first stanza.
Mitchell Haaza and Trey Tucci connected on a pair of TD passes, the first one covering 17 yards at the 6:50 mark and then again from 40 yards out with 1:57 left in the first quarter.
Ridgewood answered to begin the second period, with Bailey pulling down a 12-yard scoring strike from Lowe with 10:44 left in the quarter to deadlock the game at 14-14.
Cobin Plessinger then ripped off a 15-yard touchdown scamper to put the Hornets in front, 20-14, at the intermission.
In the second half, Ridgewood's "Silver Hammer" defense limited the Hornets to just 43 yards of offense and one first down, while forcing three turnovers.
Donley led RHS with 95 yards on 17 carries while Bailey finished with 60 yards on six attempts and Garrett Bethel added 47 on nine tries. Lowe connected on 10-of-18 passes for 133 yards for the Orange and Black, with Alex Croston reeling in five catches for 53 yards.
The Hornets (5-2, 3-1 IVC) were paced on the ground by Plessinger with a game-high 157 yards in 27 attempts, while Tucci hit on 5-of-11 passes for 85 yards with a pair of INTs.
"I actually thought we played pretty well in the first half on both sides of the ball, but they made a couple of big plays," Ridgewood coach John Slusser said. "In the second half we just dominated on both sides of the ball and began with the play up front on the line."
NEXT--Ridgewood travels to Magnolia to face Sandy Valley on Friday night for a 7 p.m. Inter-Valley Conference match-up.