BASKING RIDGE, NJ -- The Ridge football team will be back at home again Friday night at 7 p.m. to host Clifton in the semifinal round of the NJSIAA Section 2, Group 5 playoffs.
Anyone attending the game should be advised that parking will be tighter than it was last Friday night because of the premiere of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Ridge Performing Arts Center.
Last week's playoff attendance also was held down somewhat due to extremely cold conditions. Ridge defeated Union City, 6-0, in sub-freezing temperatures and, for the second week in a row, will be facing a team with a productive workhorse running back.
Clifton running back Christian Boneparte rushed for 265 yards and two touchdowns in his team's 26-6 victory over Hackensack in the opening round. It'll be the task of Ridge's own Christian, linebacker Christian Sweeney, and the rest of the Red Devils' defense to contain Boneparte. Last week, Ridge registered the shutout despite Union City dominating time of possession.
The Red Devils certainly want to control the clock for longer periods of time than they were able to last week, but their defense, as it has all season, came up with big plays in the red zone to keep Union City from scoring. Ridge's defense has shut out its last two opponents (the defense was not responsible for the points allowed in Ridge's 14-7 victory over Linden on Nov. 1).
If Ridge (8-1) defeats Clifton (6-3), the Red Devils would play the winner of Friday night's other sectional semifinal between West Orange and undefeated Union.