BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Rivals in almost every sport, Ridge and Bridgewater-Raritan actually have not meet on the football field since 2015.
That changes Friday night at 7 p.m., when the Red Devils (1-0) travel to play Bridgewater-Raritan (0-2) for the first time since the Panthers beat Ridge in the first round of the Section 2, Group 5 playoffs in November 2015.
Bridgewater-Raritan has been to the last three sectional championship games, but Ridge opes to be catching the Panthers at a good time. While BRHS has lost its first two games, Ridge is coming off a thoroughly impressive 23-14 victory over Hunterdon Central in which coach Bill Tracy's team performed to optimum levels in all phases of the game.
Bridgewater-Raritan has struggled defensively against the run so far, and that could bode well for the Red Devils, whose ground game out of the Wing-T was something Hunterdon Central was unable to stop all night last week.
Junior fullback Christian Sweeney rushed for 100 yards, senior halfback Nolan Haddad excelled both as a runner and a receiver, and senior quarterback Wes Hudkins threw two TD passes and executed the play-action fake to perfection on several occasions.
Ridge got an outstanding push all night from offensive linemen Ethan Konicek, Ryan Sweeney, Jake Hendershot, Kevin Fern, Tyler Vick and Mike Sileo.