Football: Orange 47, Cedar Ridge 0:
Published: Aug 25, 2012 12:11 AM
Modified: Aug 28, 2012 12:38 PM
HILLSBOROUGH - In the third quarter of Friday nights game against Cedar Ridge, Orange High punter Jon Evans took the snap near midfield and sent the ball veering in a line drive trajectory toward the end zone. When the ball deadened itself almost instantly on the one-yard line, it wasnt strange it was fitting.
Little seemed to go wrong for the Panthers (2-0), as they soundly defeated crosstown rival Cedar Ridge at home, 47-0.
We did well in all aspects, said Orange coach Pat Moeser. We had some mistakes, which is frustrating, but all in all we had a complete game. No fumbles, and our only interception was caused by a missed check at the line.
Conversely, little seemed to go right for the Red Wolves (0-2), whose quarterback Josh Keihle was stripped and sacked on his first drop back of the game. Orange linebacker Jalen Pittman picked up the loose ball at the 30 and returned it for a touchdown.
Pittmans strip sack was followed by a Cedar Ridge punt and a Patrick Pettiford touchdown run that put Orange ahead 14-0 less than seven minutes into the game.
That definitely changed things, said Cedar Ridge coach Chris Casey. We said coming into the game weve got to avoid those big plays. When he caused the sack, then picked it up, that changed the mindset.
From that point on, the Panther onslaught only continued with more than enough assistance from the visiting opponents.
On just his fourth dropback of the game, Keihle was blindsided in the backfield again, the result of a blown blocking assignment, this time fumbling the ball out of bounds for a 10 yard loss.
Just minutes later, a botched handoff resulted in a lost fumble inside the Cedar Ridge red zone, setting up another Orange touchdown.
Even when Orange slipped up, committing a 15 yard personal foul that negated a Cedar Ridge fourth down, the Red Wolves still could not execute. On the following play, Keihles slant attempt went straight to Pittman, who brought the ball back to Cedar Ridges six-yard line with a 59-yard return.
Fumbles, interceptions, we had at least five turnovers, said Casey. Youre not going to win games when you turn it over like that. Mentally I think we got worn down, especially when we started coming down with some injuries.
Orange took advantage of Cedar Ridge errors early thanks in part to an electrifying performance from Pettiford, who scored three Panther touchdowns in the first half and broke through for four runs of more than 20 yards, finishing with 128 yards rushing and 18 receiving.
Pettiford missed the first game of the season last week after a thigh contusion in a summer scrimmages left him with a blood clot in his leg.
He was really bothered by not being able to play (last week), said Moeser. You could tell he was excited to get to play tonight.
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