Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Finally, a Win!

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Finally, a Win!

Article excerpt

RIDGEFIELD - Ridgefield football players were heading to a victory party Friday night. They weren't sure where, they just knew it was one they had been waiting two years for.

"We showed our friends that we can actually win a game this year," Royals senior linebacker/receiver Zach Durkin said.

"Two years," Royals senior running back Raj Patel said. "Two years. It feels great. I haven't had a real varsity win since freshman year."

The Royals collected their first win in almost two years, halting a 14-game losing streak by downing Harrison, 28-14, at Willis Field.

It was the first win for second-year coach Dan Morris, who received a surprise Gatorade shower from his team at midfield.

"It's been a long time coming," Morris said. "I'm proud of our kids, they hung in; it hasn't been easy. I know our record is 0-6 [entering the game], but we have played some pretty good teams. I just give the kids credit for hanging in there."

The Blue Tide were seeking a similar outcome, entering Friday's contest with a 15-game losing streak. Harrison (0-7) started strong, leading 14-0 just nine minutes into the game, but faltered.

At times, it was obvious why both teams had struggled. The Royals had errant shotgun snaps on their first two offensive plays and faced a third-and-50. In fact, in the game, Ridgefield had six bad snaps that had to be run down by either running back Joe Turano or quarterback Eamon Catherina. It cost them 94 yards and at least two scoring opportunities.

"I mean, I think if we get the snaps ... we ran the ball well, if we get the snaps, hey, they are 15- 16-year-old kids," Morris said.

What the Royals did have was Patel, who was one of the smallest players on the field, but also one of the quickest. He never went down easily, constantly spinning, cutting and weaving for yards.

"I was trying to get what I could get," said Patel, who had 13 carries for 117 yards. "I think my line did a good job blocking for me and I just made a couple of moves."

Ironically, the biggest play of the game was an errant snap by Harrison. Backed up to his 10, Blue Tide quarterback Jason Sheppard bobbled a quick snap and was forced out of his end zone by Ridgefield. …

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