WEST LAFAYETTE Ridgewood dodged an unheard of third loss in a row by breaking out of a 14-14 halftime funk to score a critical 34-21 win over Strasburg on Friday.
Now standing at 4-1 in the IVC and 7-2 overall, the Generals can clinch a share of the IVC title with a win over host Newcomerstown on Friday.
With the score still knotted late in the third quarter, a Strasburg punt buried Ridgewood back on its own three-yard line at the 4:13 mark. But thats when the return of the Generals missing emotional edge returned.
Ridgewood went on a bruising 12-play drive that ended when Trent Lingo crashed over from the two-yard line. The extra point made it 21-14 with 11:12 left in the game.
After a Tiger punt, Ridgewood quarterback Chris Saylor hit Dakota Albertson on a 48-yard TD strike to make it 28-14 with 6:36 remaining.
Lenard Davidson made sure there was on Tiger comeback as he made an interception shortly after and raced 85-yards to the house, putting the score at 34-14.
Strasburg managed one more score, a five-yard run by Hunter Schneiter but was unable to recover the onside kick and could only watch the Generals run out the clock.
The Generals scored on the first play of the game, a 65-yard pass from halfback Jake Ziegler to Albertson that had the Tigers wondering what happened only 16 seconds into the game. Brian McElhaneys first of four extra points made it 7-0.
The hosts padded their lead to 14-0 when Lingo scored on a 22-yard scamper.
But the Tigers responded late in the first quarter on a 13-yard run by Kalib Winters and then followed that with a blocked punt that gave them good field position in General territory. Strasburg soon capitalized on a six-yard TD pass from Kole Bitikofer to Ryan Froman at the 9:58 mark of the second quarter, tying the game 14-14.
Lingo led the Generals 177 yards of ground offense with 116 yards and two touchdowns. Saylor was 5-for-7 for 111 yards with his favorite receiver being Albertson, who grabbed four receptions for 158 yards and two TDs.
The Tigers (5-4, 3-2 IVC), who were outgained in the second half, 176-69, got 79 yards from Schneiter on 16 carries. Bitikofer finished 9-for-18 for 83 yards while Froman had six receptions for 46 stripes.
Ridgewood led in first downs, 14-6.
The Generals game this Friday at Newcomerstown kicks off at 7 p.m.
Strasburg 7 7 0 7 21
Ridgewood 14 0 0 20 - 34
R-Albertson 65 pass from Ziegler (McElhaney kick)
R-Lingo 22 run (McElhaney kick)
S-Winters 13 run (Kohr kick)
S-Froman 5 pass from Bitikofer (Kohr kick)
R-Lingo 2 run (McElhaney kick)
R-Albertson 52 pass from Saylor (McElhaney kick)
R-Davidson 85 interception return (kick failed)
S-Schneiter 5 run (Kohr kick)