In football, all young men have a chance of success. In football, the more talented player is not always the best player. In football, with the correct attitude and work ethic, any young man can compete. In football, leaders are born and confidence is built. In football, attitudes can be adjusted and low self-esteem can be lifted. In football, all young men get a chance at success.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ryle beats Dixie 20-7

By Marc Hardin • Enquirer contributor • September 17, 2010

UNION - Dixie Heights quarterback Zeke Pike and Ryle two-way starter Travis Elliott got to know one another during summer camps, and the football standouts have developed a healthy respect for each other their mutual admiration grew exponentially Friday night as Pike and Elliott took turns gashing the defense before being involved in the play of the game that helped decide the outcome of the Raiders’ 20-7 homecoming win at Borland Stadium.
With less than two minutes to play, Dixie was driving the ball near midfield on the next series after whittling Ryle’s lead to 13-7 on Pike’s 6-yard run and Zach Bronner’s extra-point kick.
On fourth-and-10 from the Dixie 43 with 1:56 left, Pike got wrapped up by a tackler around his feet and another tackler who was hanging from Pike’s waist as the 6-foot-5, 230-pound quarterback desperately looked for a passing target to keep the drive alive.

"It’s fourth down and we need a score to win, so I either take a knee with all those guys on me and it’s over, or I try to make something happen by throwing it," Pike said.

He threw it, right to Elliott, who plays linebacker on defense. Elliott took off on a 45-yard interception return for his third touchdown of the night for Ryle (3-1) to put the game out of reach for the Colonels (2-2).

"He made a play," Pike said of Elliott. "He’s a great player, a manchild. So that’s what you would expect from him."

Garrett Mead’s extra-point kick put the Raiders up 13 with 1:40 remaining.

Pike drove the Colonels to the Ryle 35 on the ensuing possession but the drive fizzled, preserving the win for the Raiders, ranked second in the Enquirer Northern Kentucky coaches poll.

"Zeke’s a great quarterback," Elliott said. "They’re just trying to win. But when he threw that ball, it caught my eye. And it hit me in the chest."

Pike finished with unofficial totals of 165 yards rushing and 145 yards passing for Dixie, ranked fifth in the local poll.

Dixie coach Tom Spritzky said the Colonels did not lose the game on Elliott’s return for a touchdown.

"We lost it in the first half," the coach said. "They ran the ball well in the first half and we didn’t do what we’re taught."

Elliott found huge holes between center and left guard and ran for 189 yards before halftime with rushing scores of 32 yards and 59 yards in the first quarter. Ryle led 13-0 at the break.

Elliott finished with unofficial totals of 264 yards on 19 carries. He could have gone over 300. Elliott had a 77-yard second-quarter touchdown run called back because of a holding penalty on senior lineman Logan Delaney, who stood up the post-game huddle and apologized to the team for his infraction.

"Our team has great character, and we value our mistakes and we stand up when we make a mistake," Ryle coach Bryson Warner said. "That’s how you get better."


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