T-D HS Football

Chestnut Ridge runs over Bedford in 5-8 AA

By: Mike Mastovich

LOYSBURG — The big question prior to Friday’s District 5-8 Class AA subregional championship game was whether Bedford could stop Chestnut Ridge’s potent rushing attack.
Ridge made sure the answer was a resounding no in a 55-21 win at Northern Bedford’s Panther Community Stadium.
The Lions (9-3) gained 354 yards on the ground as the Ridge offensive and defensive lines pushed around the Bisons (8-4).
“Our line just dominated,” said Ridge center Shane Davis. “We did it last time we played them and we told ourselves we were going to come out and do it again, and we did.”
Two weeks ago, Chestnut Ridge rushed for 315 yards and four touchdowns in a 27-21 regular-season win at Bedford.
Bisons coach Kevin Steele said prior to the title game that stopping the run was imperative for Bedford to have a chance.
But the Lions took control from the outset, as back Matt Wiley (19 carries, 208 yards) scored four touchdowns, and quarterback Beau Bosch consistently moved would-be tacklers downfield while running for 95 yards on 13 attempts.
“You were just running into daylight,” Wiley said. “It was amazing running through those holes.”
Ridge will face District 9 champion Karns City on Friday at Northern Bedford High. The Gremlins beat the Lions last year in the PIAA playoffs.
Bedford had difficulty moving the ball while gaining 124 rushing yards and 136 passing yards, most of those in the second half.
“It’s a credit to our offensive and defensive line that controlled the line of scrimmage,” Chestnut  Ridge coach Max Shoemaker said. “We saw some of that the first time around but I think tonight was even more definitive.”
The Bisons were limited to 23 first-half rushing yards and only three first downs.
Ridge took the opening kickoff and ran seven straight times in a 79-yard scoring drive. Wiley scored from 11 yards out.
Bedford had an opportunity to recover a fumble three plays before the touchdown, but the ball sat on the field for a few moments until Ridge’s Tanner Colledge recovered.
“The first drive, when we scored that touchdown, it was a relief,” Ridge’s Davis said. “We didn’t know how we were going to come out and do. We came out and punched them in the mouth.”
The Bisons’ first drive stalled, and JD Weyandt partially blocked Austin Montgomery’s punt attempt.
That set up another scoring drive featuring eight straight runs and capped by Matt Wiley’s 8-yard touchdown.
Matt Wiley’s 57-yard run set up a 6-yard touchdown by Tyler Wiley with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. Sean Vanmeter’s extra point made it 21-0.
“We came in with the mentality that we were going to win,” said Chestnut Ridge tackle Jonathon Heming. “We worked really hard for this all year. This is an awesome feeling.”
One play from scrimmage later, Ridge’s Colledge recovered a Bedford fumble at the Bisons 29. Bosch converted the turnover into a 1-yard quarterback keeper that set a 28-0 score with 9:22 left in the second quarter.
“That was super,” Shoemaker said of the sequence. “We talked about getting out of the gate strong and setting the tone and continuing where we left off from last time. The kids bought into that.We preached all week we had to play fast and we had to play physical.”
Bedford broke the shutout on Montgomery’s 37-yard touchdown pass to Travis Hickey. The Bisons had their first three first downs of the game during the drive. Overall, Montgomery completed 5 of 13 passes for 136 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions.
The Lions answered with Matt Wiley’s third touchdown of the opening half, a 4-yarder that made it 35-7 at halftime.
Chestnut Ridge put a running clock into motion with 5:56 left in the third quarter even though the offense didn’t get on the field. Two interception returns for touchdowns resulted in 13 points.
Bedford drove to the Ridge 22-yard line on the second half’s opening drive, but Tyler Wiley intercepted a pass and returned it 86 yards for a score.
Defensive lineman Heming picked off a screen and rambled 25 yards for a touchdown.
“It’s a dream come true,” said the 5-foot-8, 223-pound Heming. “I’ve been waiting all of my life to score a touchdown.”
Ridge’s Noah Osman got his 10th interception of the season on the next play from scrimmage, and Matt Wiley ran 51 yards for a touchdown.
Bedford’s Montgomery scored from a yard out after Kody Blevins broke a 48-yard run against the second-team defense. Ridge put its starters back in and stopped three runs before Montgomery got into the end zone on fourth down. Jeremiah Bingham’s 6-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter set the final.