Ridge Football Team Aims for Playoff Return in 2017

Andrew Lusardi Credits: Guy Kipp
RJ Milligan takes handoff in 2016 game. Credits: Guy Kipp

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - The Ridge High School football team opens its regular season on Friday, Sept. 8 at Montgomery, which gives the Red Devils a little more time to heal some summer bruises and take aim at another NJSIAA Section 2, Group 5 playoff berth.

Last season, Ridge lost, 41-34, in an overtime thriller to Union in the opening round of the playoffs. Ridge had closed its high-scoring regular season with seven straight victories heading into the post-season. Ridge averaged almost 36 points per game last season, which was especially impressive considering the Red Devils played the entire season without projected starting quarterback Brandon Radice, who was hurt prior to the start of his junior season in 2016.

Senior Adian Murphy stepped in and piloted the 2016 offense admirably, but now Radice, a 6'4, 210-pound senior, is back to take control of the Wing-T offense. And he'll have most of the team's skill position starters back intact, including fullback RJ Milligan (474 yards and 7 TDs in 2016), halfbacks Devin Stieglitz (14 receptions) and Ryan Gogerty, and receivers Andrew Lusardi (16 receptions, 2 TDs) and Nolan Hughes.

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Returning linemen include seniors G/DL Matt Giordano (5’8, 215), OT/DT Chris Breault (5’11, 200) and G/LB Jack Forand (5’9, 185).

"We are excited for our season this year," Ridge head coach Bill Tracy said. "We have been hit with some injuries over the summer and in camp, but guys are now getting healthy. We have nine guys returning with varsity experience, so they must lead, but our rising players have proven to be great program guys and are filling in nicely."

Ridge 2017 football schedule (all games 7 p.m. unless noted):

9/8  at Montgomery
9/29 at Plainfield (2 p.m.)
10/6 at Hillsborough
10/20 at Union
10/27 at Elizabeth



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