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Football: East Ridge's district dominance continues against Roseville

East Ridge running back AJ Tittle follows a block from teammate Billy Raible during Friday's game against Roseville. (Bulletin photo by Blaze Fugina)1 / 2
Tight end Zach Bennett runs down the middle of the field after catching a pass from quarterback Ty Okada on Friday. (Bulletin photo by Blaze Fugina)2 / 2

The East Ridge defense did not force a turnover in Friday’s district home game versus Roseville.

But it did not matter. East Ridge shut down the Raiders’ offense until the fourth quarter when the second team defense was on the field with a running clock. The offense also provided plenty of support in the 42-14 victory.

The Raptors have scored at least 20 points in every game this season, and Friday’s 42 points were the most they have scored this season. The defense responded on the other side of the ball.

“The coaches always give us the best game plan possible,” senior safety Michael Remke said. “They put so much work into our packets on the weekends to prepare us the best. Monday through Thursday are the days that we get better. Those are the days that matter.”

Quarterback Ty Okada and running back AJ Tittle led East Ridge’s offense by scoring two rushing touchdowns on Friday. Runs of 11 and 25 yards for Okada gave East Ridge a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.

Tittle broke loose for a 63-yard touchdown in the second quarter, and Will Walker also scored on an 11-yard run to put East Ridge ahead 18-0 at halftime.

Tittle scored his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard run right up the middle in the third quarter. Head coach Dan Fritze said Tittle has continued to improve as the Raptors’ primary running back with Dominik London still injured.

“He is becoming the running back we always thought he could be in that he can really carry the load now,” Fritze said. “That is really great to see. We know he can run fast, but now he is getting those four and five-yard gains by lowering the pads and grinding out yards.”

Jack Milbauer also scored a third-quarter rushing touchdown for the Raptors. Roseville finally broke through in the fourth quarter with rushing touchdowns from Brendan McMillan and Reggie Morrow.

East Ridge lost some size on the offensive line last year due to graduation. But tight end Zach Bennett said the Raptors are no longer surprised with how well the line has played this season.

“I know in coach Fritze’s offense, we don’t have to be the biggest,” said Bennett. “Last year we were, but this year we’re not. But we can still dominate on the line of scrimmage because we know what we’re doing. That’s a lot of credit to the coaches.”

The Raptors improved to 6-0 in the East Metro Blue subdivision with Friday’s win. Only one regular season game remains on the schedule for Wednesday at Woodbury before the start of the Class 6A tournament.

But before the playoffs begin, the Raptors are looking forward to a game against their crosstown rivals on Wednesday.

“Can’t wait,” Remke said. “Just practice Monday, Tuesday, and we’ll be ready for Wednesday.”

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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