Apollo-Ridge drops Summit Academy
Apollo-Ridge took full dvantage of several late Summit Academy mistakes and posted a 23-13 road victory Saturday afternoon.
A safety with 7:08 left in the game, a touchdown after the free kick and yet another safety accounted for the Vikings’ victory.
Apollo-Ridge is now 1-1 in both the Allegheny Conference and overall play. Summit slipped to 0-2, 0-2.
The Knights had a one-point lead and stopped the Vikings solidly on three second-half possessions before things came apart. Maurice Houston bobbled the ball on a reverse, but pounced on the ball at the Summit 1. On the next play, quarterback Doug House was stopped in the end zone, giving Apollo-Ridge its first lead of the day, 14-13. Junior Vince Simpson made the initial hit, and Alex Medice and Mike Bell finished the job.
After the free kick was returned to the Summit 43, Eean Smith tallied his third touchdown of the day on an 18-yard run. Mark Schrecengost’s extra point made it 21-13 with 4:21 to go, but the Vikings weren’t done yet.
With the ball back at the Summit 1 following an illegal pass, the snap went over House’s head for another safety with 1:03 remaining.
“One of the things we’ve got to remember is that Summit Academy’s got some great talent,” Simon said. “Steve Sherer has a great coaching staff, and he brought those kids to life, but we took advantage of things when we had to.”
“We made some mistakes on offense, and we turned the ball over five times today,” Sherer said. “I thought we played a good first half. They’re still coming. They’re learning.”
After dropping a close, 7-0 decision at Shady Side Academy last week, Sherer used his messenger quarterbacks again yesterday, alternating House and Quran Reaves each play. The fresh quarterback brought the play to the huddle.
The scheme was somewhat effective, as Summit amassed 203 rushing yards in the first three quarters before things went awry late.
“That was my plan, to bring two guys along,” Sherer said. “It didn’t hurt us at all. We might have to change a few things up, but it worked.”
With 4:46 to go in the first quarter, Raimonte Gaston recovered a Vikings fumble and Reavers threw to a wide-open Richard Hitch to put the Knights on the scoreboard. Apollo-Ridge answered with a touchdown that was set up when Dominic Brank blocked a Troy Vickers punt that Simpson recovered at the Summit 5. Smith scored on the following play to make it 6-6, but Vickers stopped Schrecengost on a two-point conversion attempt.
Four plays later, Summit lined up in punt formation. Several Vikings broke through at the snap, but Vickers, formerly of Highlands High School, sidestepped several Vikings and got loose for a 65-yard touchdown run.
The Knights were poised to go up by two scores, but an apparent 38-yard touchdown run by House was called back due to an illegal block. Vikings tackle Charles Moon recovered a fumble on the next play, setting up Smith’s 61-yard touchdown run with 5:17 left in the half. The conversion run was stopped and Apollo-Ridge remained behind, 13-12, until the safety with 7:08 left.
“One of the things we’ve got to do is be consistent,” Simon said. “I think that’s what happened today — we finally pulled together and stayed consistent. We kept telling them, ‘You’ve got to contain, got to contain,’ and that’s what we did in the second half.”
Smith had 178 yards rushing on 23 attempts.
“Eean Smith really propelled us forward with his runs,” Simon said. “You can’t ask for a better win, but it was ugly.”
Apollo-Ridge will play host to Freeport Friday, while Summit visits Burrell Friday.