Ridgefield High School was unable to stop the run game from the Hudson’s Bay High School in a 28-24 loss on home turf on Friday, Sept. 22.
The Ridgefield Spudders went into the locker rooms down 14-0 at halftime after a first half of not finding a rhythm on offense.
Within the first three minutes of the third quarter the Spudders found new momentum and tied the game at 14.
“We got physically pushed around all night,” Ridgefield head coach Scott Rice said. “Credit to them, they came out and they had a game plan to take their time, use all 40 seconds every snap and run down the clock.”
The Spudders regained some newfound energy and tied the score at 21 in the fourth quarter.
Driving down the field, the Spudders were held in the red zone with 2:35 left in the fourth quarter. The Spudders opted to take the lead with a 22-yard field goal by kicker Brandon Rodgers.
Now having a lead of 24-21 and momentum on their side, a deep kickoff turned into a Hudson’s Bay 86-yard touchdown return to fully flatten the Spudders and silence the energetic Ridgefield faithful.
Hudson’s Bay stopped the Spudders’ following efforts and took a knee with the 28-24 victory on the road in the 2A Greater St. Helens League matchup.
After a loss like that on home turf, Rice and his coaching staff immediately looked ahead to this week’s big matchup with Washougal.
“We[‘ve] got a good football game next week against Washougal,” Rice said. “We, as coaches, got to go meet for a bunch of hours this weekend, and we got to figure out the depth chart and who can play, who can’t, and sit down and put together a better effort as far as practices are concerned.”
Heading into week five with a 2-2 overall record and a 1-1 record in league, the Spudders realize they still have a chance at a post-season with five more league games still to play.
While addressing his team after the loss to Hudson’s Bay, Rice questioned what needs to be done to win at home as the Spudders fell to 0-2 as the home team compared with 2-0 on the road. As the active trend goes, Ridgefield has three away games and just two home games left this season, and Rice and his Spudders would like to finish these last five games with a winning record.
“I think this loss was not indicative of who we are as a team,” Rice said. “I think that our effort has to improve in some areas, and the way that we approach practice has to continue to improve. But it’s a team that I love coming to practice every day with them. They work hard, and they believe in what we’re doing.”
Rice added the team comes up just short in what wins games sometimes, but the Spudders are in an alright spot. Heading into week five, the large 2A GSHL standings have six teams sitting at 1-1 in league play. Currently Hudson’s Bay sits as top dog with a 2-0 league record.
If Ridgefield comes out of the final five weeks with a winning record, preferably 4-1 with a win or two at home, the Spudders could very well be in the mix.
The Spudders next play the juggernaut of the Washougal Panthers at 7 p.m. on the road Friday, Sept. 29. Following week five’s matchup, the Spudders will play Mark Morris High School of Longview at home at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6.