WEST LAFAYETTE -- Ridgewood High used a potent one-two punch of senior quarterback Caleb Tingle and running back Zach Donley to collect a 35-22 Inter-Valley Conference victory over backyard rival Newcomerstown in the annual Orange and Black rivalry game on Friday night.
Tingle racked up 229 yards rushing on 32 carries with three touchdowns to lead RHS, while Donley added 179 yards in 21 attempts and a touchdown. Tingle added a 2-for-3 effort passing with 39 yards and a TD pass.
"Offensively, we've been really good all year, but we stopped ourselves with fumbles in the first half," Ridgewood coach John Slusser said. "But we really responded in the second half behind a great offensive line and the Caleb and Zach show running the ball."
With the victory, the Generals improve to 9-1 on the season (6-1 IVC) and clinched an Ohio High School Athletic Conference playoff berth in Division VI, Region 21.
Ridgewood returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2011 and Slusser feels confident about this team and its chances entering Week 11 action.
"I don't feel like there is a team in this region that we can't beat," he said. "I'm not saying we will win, but we can be competitive with everyone and there isn't anybody that we should be afraid of next week."
Newcomerstown got on the board first late in the first quarter, taking advantage of a Ridgewood fumble to go on a 10-play, 40-yard drive that culminated in a three-yard touchdown run from senior Jibril Dansby to make it 7-0.
The Generals answered in the second stanza, with Tingle hooking up with sophomore Rayven Davidson for a 27-yard score and Tingle added a two-point PAT run for an 8-7 Ridgewood advantage.
The Trojans responded with Dansby again finding his way into the end zone from 10 yards out, and then tacked on a two-point conversion run to build 15-8 lead with 4:57 left in the opening half.
With under a minute to play, however, the Generals bounced right back.
Donley took a handoff from Tingle and rambled 71 yards for a score that cut the Ridgewood deficit to 15-14 at the intermission.
The Generals added another score at the 5:55 mark of the third period on a 15-yard scamper from Tingle and he scored the two-point conversion to make it 22-15 in favor of the host Generals.
Tingle ran for two more TDs in the fourth quarter, one from three yards with 11:10 left in the game and the final RHS score from 20 yards with just 20 seconds to play that sealed the game.
Newcomerstown's final touchdown also came in the final quarter with senior QB Austin Zufelt scoring on a one-yard dive into the end zone at the 4:21 mark.
Dansby finished with 61 yards on 18 carries to lead Newcomerstown (5-5, 4-3 IVC) on the ground, while Zufelt added 79 yards on 10 carries. Dansby closes his season with 1,043 yards on 160 carries with 17 touchdowns.
Zufelt hit on 7-of-10 passing attempts for 84 yards, with Dylan Little hauling in five receptions for 35 yards to lead the Trojans.
Newcomerstown 7 8 0 7 -- 22
Ridgewood 0 14 8 13 -- 35
N--Bril Dansby 3 run (Kyle Pritchard kick), 0:39.
R--Rayven Davidson 27 pass from Caleb Tingle (Tingle run), 7:49.
N--Dansby 10 run (Dylan Little pass from Austin Zufelt), 4:57.
R--Zach Donley 71 run (pass failed), 0:31.
R--Tingle 15 run (Tingle run), 5:55.
R--Tingle 3 run (run failed), 11:10.
N--Zufelt 1 run (Pritchard kick), 4:21.
R--Tingle 20 run (Jarred Art kick), 0:30.
First Downs 11 18
Rushes-yards 33-149 53-406
Passing yards 84 39
Comp-Att-Int 7-10-0 2-3-0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 3-2
Penalties-yds 4-20 9-80
Punts-avg. 3-41.0 0-0
RUSHING--Newcomerstown, Dansby 18-61, Chris Lengyel 2-7, Walker McMullen 1-1, Jarred Weaver 2-1, Zufelt 10-79. Ridgewood, Donley 21-179, Jhett Slusser 1-(-2), Tingle 32-229.
PASSING--Newcomerstown, Zufelt 7-10-84-0. Ridgewood, Tingle 2-3-39-1.
RECEIVING--Newcomerstown, Dansby 1-27, Dylan Little 5-35, George Brode 1-22. Ridgewood, Davidson 1-27, Trent Harrison 1-12.
FUMBLE RECOVERIES--Newcomerstown, Joel Ebersbach, Little. Ridgewood, none.
KICKOFF RETURNS--Newcomerstown, Dansby 3-45, McMullen 3-18. Ridgewood, Slusser 2-29, Donley 1-21, Harrison 1-0.
PUNT RETURNS-- none.