Video: Ecole holds off Ridgewood for 14-7 Homecoming win

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Ecole Classique and Ridgewood — two small squads playing two-way football — managed to create big excitement in the fourth quarter. Ecole’s defense held off a late Ridgewood rally to prevail for a 14-7 homecoming victory.

“I tell you what, that was one of the most exciting games I’ve seen here in the last 25 years,” Ecole coach Maurice Gernheiser said.

Offensively, Spartans freshman quarterback Shea Howell led the way, accounting for both of the Ecole scores with a 64-yard pass to Trey Postlethwait and an 11-yard scamper of his own. He also plowed through the Eagle defensive front to notch a critical late 2-point conversion.

“He’s quite a player,” Gernheiser said of his signal-caller. “When he came to our school last year, we knew we had a player.”

After Ridgewood had seemed to take control by capping a 78-yard drive a 22-yard touchdown to take a 7-6 lead, the Spartans’ offense still sputtered, unable to respond. Two drives later, the Eagles put together another impressive possession, marching to the Spartans’ 2, looking to extend the advantage.

From that point on, the Spartan defense frustrated three consecutive Ridgewood drives with a succession of huge plays. First, the Spartan defense punched the ball free and took over at their own 4 yard line. On the next Eagle drive, David Doyle picked off an errant pass and returned it to the Eagles’ 11, setting up Howell’s touchdown run on the next snap.

That set up the dramatic finish on Ridgewood’s final push. Taking over with just over five minutes remaining, the Eagles mounted a drive that included two fourth-down conversions — one via a 35-yard completion and the other thanks to a Spartan interference penalty — to reach the Ecole 5 with 23 seconds left. But the Spartans held the Eagles in bounds and limited them to one last play — ultimately corralling the Ridgewood offense and snuffing out the threat as the jubilant Spartans celebrated a win on homecoming.

Gernheiser was pleased with his season-ending triumph. “What you saw here was development,” Gernheiser said. “This gives our young team a lot of confidence going into the future.”

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