The Raptors, ranked third in Class 6A in the most recent coaches association poll, crushed the Rangers 42-0 on Forest Lake’s Homecoming night.
“We knew we had to bounce back after that tough one last week, losing in the last couple of minutes,” East Ridge senior tight end George Behr said. “We knew it wasn’t just going to be another Forest Lake team. We knew we had to come out here and give it our all.”
In the Suburban East Conference game, the Raptors led 28-0 at the half and took a 42-0 lead with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter. It was the first shutout by East Ridge in school history.
East Ridge head coach Mike Pendino said it was important for his team to put last week’s loss behind them and move forward.
“Last week was last week,” he said. “This was a new week.”
East Ridge’s defense was dominant in the win over the Rangers (0-6; 0-6).
The Raptors (5-1; 5-1 SEC) held Forest Lake to just 57 total yards in the game and forced two turnovers – an interception and a fumble. The Rangers had just seven yards rushing on 23 carries and 50 yards passing and only recorded three first downs in the game.
“Coming off a big loss last week, coaches really stressed in practice to focus and get ourselves prepared for this next game,” East Ridge senior defensive tackle Marcus London said. “We knew that it was Forest Lake’s Homecoming and they had a chip on their shoulder. We came in and did what we had to do.”
London said his coaches put a priority on stopping the run.
“They stress hustle,” London said. “They want everyone to the ball all the time. Get there on time and make the play.”
East Ridge sophomore quarterback Seth Green led the Raptors’ offense in the win. Green was 12-for-24 for 127 yards and five touchdowns. Two of his touchdowns went to senior receiver Xavier Cole, who caught four passes for 26 yards and the two scores. Sophomore receiver Kjetil Cline also caught two touchdowns from Green in his three catch, 48 yard performance. Also, Behr caught three passes for 27 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season.
“I have to thank Seth Green for that one,” Behr said. “He found me on my option route. That’s a new play thanks to coach Pendino.”
East Ridge totaled 327 total yards in the win – 190 rushing and 137 passing.
Freshman Dominik London ran the ball nine times for 46 yards and a touchdown. However, he was taken out of the game very early in the third quarter because of an injury. London, who is starting in place of senior Nick Leach, who suffered a season-ending knee injury, was thought to have a badly bruised leg, but should be fine to play the next game.
Despite the win, Pendino wasn’t overly enthusiastic about his team’s performance.
“We played OK,” he said. “We’re going to have to play a heckuva lot better to win next week I can tell you that.”
East Ridge plays host to Stillwater on Friday, Oct. 11, at the Raptors’ Nest in Woodbury.
Pendino said he feels the Ponies (3-3; 3-3 SEC) will present a significant challenge.
“They pound the crap out of you,” he said. “They’re big and physical and like to run. They’re probably the best football team we’ll play this year.”