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Football: Talented Raiders hand Raptors second loss of season

East Ridge's Ryan Kim chases Cretin-Derham Hall ballcarrier Zion Guerra during a Friday, Sept. 29 game played at the University of St. Thomas. Blaze Fugina / RiverTown Multimedia1 / 2
Running back T.J.Kelly tries to escape some pressure from the Cretin-Derham Hall defense during the third quarter of East Ridge's road game against the Raiders on Friday, Sept. 29. Blaze Fugina / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

Cretin-Derham Hall brought East Ridge back to Earth on Friday, a week after the Raptors got their biggest victory of the season.

East Ridge defeated Roseville 17-16 on homecoming Sept. 22, but seven days later Cretin-Derham Hall’s powerful offense helped put the win the rearview mirror. The Raiders defense slowed East Ridge’s offense and used big passing plays to run up a 43-7 final.

Even though Cretin-Derham Hall was just 2-2 going into Friday's Metro East Subdistrict matchup, East Ridge knew the Raiders would bring some talented athletes.

“They are just really fast and physical, and they just played really well,” head coach Dan Fritze said. “They are a really good team.”

Cretin-Derham Hall scored three touchdowns in the second quarter to pull away 29-0 at halftime. Jaylen Newton scored two second-quarter touchdowns, including a punt return score of 59 yards. Jacob Prince also caught a 25-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, with Tony Underwood rushing for a score in the second quarter.

East Ridge’s only touchdown of the night came in the third quarter on a 23-yard touchdown pass to Payton Johnson from Riley Tuckner.

But Cretin-Derham Hall’s offense was too much, as Prince hauled in another touchdown reception in the third quarter followed by a 53-yard touchdown run by Jackson Crawford in the fourth quarter.

The Cretin-Derham Hall defense made moving the ball difficult for East Ridge, shutting down its usually reliable run game.

“They are very fast, and they were just dominant on the line of scrimmage,” said running back T.J. Kelly, who returned from injury this week.

East Ridge was riding a three-game winning streak going into Friday’s game at Cretin-Derham Hall. After falling 34-13 to Champlin Park in week one, the Raptors responded with September wins against Stillwater, White Bear Lake and Roseville.

After losing their first Metro East Subdistrict game, the Raptors will have an opportunity to regain some momentum at home against Mounds View on Oct. 6.

Before then, they hope to use some of the lessons learned from Friday's loss.

“That just shows how hard you have to work and how hard you have to prepare,” Kelly said. “That’s just how it goes. You’ve got to learn from it.”

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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