SUMMERVILLE - Ashley Ridge got touchdowns from two running backs and a linebacker and opened the season with a 21-6 win over Woodland on Friday night.
Ashley Ridge, a Class AAAA team, struggled somewhat moving the ball against Woodland, a Class AA team. However, the Swamp Fox defense was tough.
"It's been a couple of years since we won our first game so I'm pleased," Ashley Ridge coach Kenny Walker said. "Woodland is a tough team so we expected a game like this. Our defense played really well tonight. We were well prepared and our defense stepped up and embraced the challenge of slowing down those weapons they have on offense."
After holding Woodland to only four yards on the first possession, Ashley Ridge needed only two plays to score. Running back Tyler Garland broke through a hole in the defense and followed his blockers to get a clear path to the end zone on a 72-yard touchdown run.
Woodland got on the scoreboard with just more than 2:30 remaining in the opening quarter when linebacker Tim Brown picked off a pass and returned it 28 yards into the end zone.
The Swamp Foxes cushioned their lead with a 45-yard scoring drive in the second quarter. Junior quarterback Steven Duncan completed key passes to CT Frederick and Matt Linton on the drive, which was capped by a 6-yard TD run by scat-back Chris Jones.
The games final score came with 9:39 in the third period when Ashley Ridge linebacker Tyquan Tucker picked off a pass and returned it 35 yards into the end zone.
Woodland coach Mathis Burnette said he was pleased with his team's effort, especially considering he had some key players who didn't play much in the preseason because of injuries.
"We were a pick six and a big play in the first half from that being a 6-7 ball game so I can't be mad," Burnette said. "Our defense played with great heart. Offensively they were better up front than we thought they were going to be, but I think our defense will play better this season now that we have more people healthy. Hats off to them, but I think we will be okay in the long run."
Ashley Ridge 7 7 7 0--21
Woodland 6 0 0 0--6
AR - Tyler Garland 72 run (Matt Gabel kick)
W - Tim Brown 28 interception return (kick failed)
AR - Chris Jones 6 run (Gabel kick)
AR - Tyquan Tucker 35 interception return (Gabel kick)