East Ridge football: Raptors beat Hastings 33-14 in playoff's opening round
With the season on the line, East Ridge's seniors stepped up.
East Ridge senior quarterback Brandon Johnson scored three touchdowns - two passing and one rushing - and senior running back/defensive back Dayo Ogundepo ran for 123 yards as the Raptors defeated Suburban East Conference foe Hastings 33-14 in the opening round of the Section 4AAAAA playoffs on Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Hastings.
The win helped East Ridge, the section's fifth seed, avenge a 9-0 loss to fourth-seeded Hastings (2-7) on the Raptors' homecoming night earlier this season.
With a 19-14 lead, East Ridge (3-6) scored 14 third-quarter points and held the Raiders scoreless in the second half on the way to the win.
Johnson threw both of his touchdown passes in the third quarter - first hitting Matt Wavra with a 18-yard pass to give East Ridge a 26-14 lead after an extra point by Justin Pahl. Then, Johnson found senior Patrick Ubel in the end zone on a three-yard pass to give the Raptors a comfortable 18-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Overall, Johnson was 8-for-11 passing for 98 yards and the two scores.
In addition to Johnson and Ogundepo, East Ridge senior fullback Austin Fischer ran eight times for 54 yards and a touchdown and senior running back Val Huerta had six carries for 25 yards and one touchdown.
The win bought East Ridge a rematch with SEC champion and third-ranked Cretin-Derham Hall. The Raptors will take on the top-seeded Raiders on Saturday, Oct. 19, at St. Thomas University. Cretin-Derham Hall (8-0) had a first-round bye.