By Terry Boudreau
Friday night's game with North Hunterdon was expected to be one of the tougher tests for the Ridge football team — and it was. Always a tough opponent for Ridge, North Hunterdon headed into a game on its own turf with a 3-1 record and the tools needed to win against anyone.
But after a hard-fought first half — which ended 17-12 with Ridge ahead — the Red Devils opened up the scoring in the second half. Ridge held North scoreless during the third and fourth quarters while adding points, to come home with a 38-12 victory.
The Red Devils maintained their undefeated status, and the team now is 5-0.
In the opening series, the Ridge stalled against the tenacious Lion defense. Conor Hughes put Ridge on the board with a 32 yard field goal. Less than four minutes later, Liam Derkasch scored a touchdown on the ground to give Ridge a 10-0 lead.
After a touchdown and missed extra point by North, Hughes would connect with Ryan Bell to score the first of two touchdowns by the duo. Matt Soulas and Nick Franzese would round out the Ridge scoring.
"It felt great to be back on the field tonight, the last two weeks off the field were terrible," said Liam Derkasch who had been out of the lineup with a concussion. "We knew North Hunterdon was a good team and it would be battle. We were fortunate to come out with a win."
"The guys played hard," said Ridge head coach Bill Tracy. "We had some mistakes, but we overcame it. I am really proud of the kids, they were playing really hard in the first half and it was a little frustrating. The reason they stayed in the ballgame was because of how hard they were playing."
Tracy added, "With the score 17-12 at the half and North getting the kick off, that thing could have gone in any direction. They have a great team, too."
Up Next: Ridge is scheduled to play Plainfield at home at 7 p.m. next Friday night, for homecoming game. The game will be preceded by the traditional senior tailgating party.
— Linda Sadlouskos contributed to this story.