By KIM NORTH
Times Leader Sports Writer
BELLAIRE - The Steve Andres era at Bellaire didn't start the way the he had planned.
BELLAIRE’S Tyler West makes a catch and avoids the Ridgewood defender for the lone Big Reds’ touchdown in the game.
Saturday afternoon at sun-baked Nelson Field, visiting Ridgewood amassed more than 400 yards of total offense in defeating the Big Reds, 34-6.
Of the Generals 404 offensive stripes, 311 came via a potent ground game that featured tailback Zach Donley and quarterback Caleb Tingle, who transferred to Ridgewood over the summer from Cambridge. Donley, a 5-10, 187-pounder, rambled for a game-high 139 yards on a dozen trips while scoring on runs of 40 and 59 yards. Tingle, an elusive 5-9, 168-pounder, accounted for 110 stripes and a 39-yard scoring jaunt on 13 attempts. He also completed three passes for 93 yards, with two of them reaching the end zone.
"We got beat in every facet of the game," Andres lamented. "I take full responsibility. Everything starts and ends with me. I take the blame."
After an exchange of punts, Ridgewood struck first when Tingle completed a 4-play, 60-yard drive with an option keep to the left that went for 39 yards and six points. Jon Barker ran for two points and an 8-0 lead.
Near the end of the first quarter, the Generals were lined up in punt formation from midfield on fourth-and-9. However, the snap went to the upback - Tingle - who took two steps forward and lofted a short pass to Rayven Davidson in the left flat. Davidson weaved his way through a scrum of players before sprinting to paydirt. The PAT was no good as the visitors led 14-0 with 17.2 ticks on the clock.
"We gave up that fake punt and I'll take the blame for that," Andres added. "I knew better. I'm incredibly disappointed."
Ridgewood made it 20-0 early in the second quarter when Donley outran everyone from 40 yards out on a third-and-17.
Bellaire avoided the shutout when senior quarterback Tyler Ramsay, making his varsity debut, drilled a 10-yard strike to classmate Tyler West on a slant from the left side. A bad snap on the PAT prevented any further scoring.
Ramsay completed three passes for 76 yards on the 7-play, 80-yard scoring drive. He finished the game 10 for 31 for 155 yards. he was picked off twice.
Any momentum the Big Reds had generated was quickly taken away as Ridgewood needed just two plays and 45 seconds to go 59 yards, with Donley doing the honors.
The Generals concluded the scoring as Tingle took a fourth-and-goal snap from the 14. He found Logan Slusser in the middle of the end zone for six points and a 34-6 halftime advantage.
Neither team would score in the second half as Ridgewood subbed freely. The Generals had 10 different ballcarriers on the sweltering afternoon.
The Big Reds could only manage 140 yards on the ground, with Ramsay leading the way with 52 on seven carries. Brandon Laughman had 13 totes for 36 yards.
Both teams charted a dozen first downs, while Bellaire didn't fumble and was penalized seven times for 53 yards. Ridgewood lost one of two fumbles and was flagged five times for 40 stripes.
Dom Vinka recovered a fumble for Bellaire, while D'Eondre Burney picked off a pass.
Bellaire remains at home next week when John Marshall crosses the Ohio River for a 12:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday.
North can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org