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Football: Woodbury wins match-up of crosstown rivals

Jaron Pittman tries to carry the ball to the outside during Friday's rivalry game against East Ridge. Blaze Fugina / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Artavias Taylor (6) celebrates with his Woodbury teammates during Woodbury's football game at East Ridge on Friday. Blaze Fugina / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Make that two straight wins for the Woodbury football team against crosstown rival East Ridge.

The Royals received just enough offense to pull ahead by 10 points in the third quarter of Friday’s rivalry game with East Ridge. From there, the defense held off the Raptors for a 20-3 victory.

It was the second straight win for Woodbury in the rivalry game after last year’s 47-25 victory.

After both teams had potential touchdown passes dropped in the end zone during the first half, Woodbury head coach Andy Hill said it came down to who could come away with more big plays.

“We just got a couple plays to pop for us,” Hill said. “In a game with them, they’re a good team, too, so it’s really going to be who is going to get something to pop?”

Neither team could gain much of an advantage in the first half. Woodbury led 6-3 at halftime as kicker Cade Keesling knocked down two field goals, including one of 43 yards, and Jack McKenzie also added a 43-yard field goal for the Raptors.

But the tide started to change with a 12-yard touchdown run by Andrew Kraemer in the third quarter, putting Woodbury ahead 13-3.

The Woodbury junior said he could sense the change in momentum during the second half.

“As we went into the second half, we started talking,” Kraemer said. “And when we started talking, we changed our attitudes. We attacked.”

Turnovers helped Woodbury keep East Ridge off the scoreboard in the fourth quarter. David Alston intercepted a pass and returned it from midfield for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Artavias Taylor also intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter as East Ridge moved the ball to just a few yards away from the Woodbury end zone.

East Ridge head coach Dan Fritze lamented the turnovers from the Raptors’ offense on Friday. He was happy with the defense’s effort in the game, but turnovers have hurt East Ridge in the past few weeks -- including one on Friday that came back for a touchdown.

“Our defense played great," Fritze said. "Their defense scored a touchdown, so our offense just needs to stop turning the ball over. Our defense played well enough for us to win, our offense played well enough for us to win. But sometimes, it doesn’t go your way.”

Both teams now hold 3-4 records on the season.

East Ridge will wrap up the regular season with a game at Centennial on Wednesday, Oct. 18. Woodbury will end the regular season with a home game against Stillwater.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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