Elkers hang on to beat Owls 28-21 to clinch playoff berth

Bob Parana - Staff Writer

For a fifth straight season the Ridgway Elkers, winners of the past two District 9 Class AA championships and the Class A titles in 2016 and 2017, punched their ticket to the post-season with a 28-21 win over Bradford Friday night at Memorial Field.
The playoffs will begin Oct. 23 or 24 with the semi-finals which will include Ridgway and three teams from the southern part of the district.
The Elkers took a 7-0 lead with 7:30 left in the first period on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Ben Briggs to Alex Bon. Aiden Zimmerman's PAT made it 7-0. The Owls, who were beaten by Ridgway in Bradford 45-14 bounced back on a five-yard Jake Pattison run. Abbie Nuzzo's PAT tied the game with 5:56 left in the opening quarter.
Eric Salberg put Ridgway back in front with a 34-yard TD run with 1:47 left in the opening frame. Zimmerman's PAT went a tad wide right leaving the score 13-7. A five-yard run by Nolan Gonzalez and PAT by Nuzzo put the Owls in front 14-13 with with 3:51 remaining in the half which is how the first 24 minutes ended.
Dominic Cherry scored from 22-yards out to put the Elkers up for good with 1:00 left in the third period. Briggs hit Bon for the conversion making it 21-14. Domenic Allegretto took a punt 48 yards to the house Zimmerman's extra point upped the lead to 14 points. Bradford pulled within a score with 6;46 left in the game when quarterback Austen Davis hit Dalton Dixon for a five-yard TD. Nuzzo's third PAT made it 28-21.
A high snap to punter Luke Zimmerman gave the Owls the ball at the Ridgway 25-yard line with 56 second remaining. Three plays later Allegretto intercepted Davis in the back of the end zone with 21 seconds left to seal with win.
The victory ups Ridgway's mark to 3-1. They will play at St. Marys next week before opening the playoffs. The Dutch defeated Kane 59-27 to up their mark to 4-0 and defeated the Elkers 34-7 last week.
McKenzie Freeman was named the 2020 Johnsonburg High School Homecoming Queen prior to the game.
More on the contest will appear in Monday's edition.