RS-M 34, WAGENER-SALLEY 13
WAGENER — Eight days before Friday night’s Class-A playoff opener against Wagener-Salley, emotional Ridge Spring-Monetta players found themselves a few big plays short of a victory. In the rematch in Wagener on Friday, the Trojans made all the big plays early and often en route to a 34-13 victory.
The game started with the Ridge Spring-Monetta tackling Wagener-Salley quarterback Malcolm Stroman for a huge loss, and the Trojans never let up on the physicality from that point. Head coach Heath Corley said his team really answered the challenge, after they got “physically whipped” in the first meeting. Corley’s squad had taken a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
“We talked about it every day,” Corley said of the teams’ play last week. “It speaks volumes for the kids. Until last week we hadn’t been outplayed physically, and they did that to us a week ago. But this is a tough group of kids, and it’s a source of pride for them.”
Wagener-Salley head coach Ken Tucker said the opening play was a bit symbolic of how the night went for the home team. The War Eagles weren’t able to accomplish much on offense other than a 66-yard touchdown run by Stroman to make the game 28-6.
“They came out ready to play,” Tucker said. “We lost a lot of yards on that first play, and we got in a hole there. That’s how our night went really Corley did a good job with those guys we got out coached. It was a bad night.”
Things took a turn for the worse when Stroman went down with a hip pointer early in the second half and never returned. Tucker said it wasn’t worth risking further injury since Stroman, a two sport athlete, has basketball coming up.
Ridge Spring-Monetta forced two fumbles and three interceptions in the game and went on to score 17 points on the drives following turnovers.
While the War Eagles struggled on the ground, the Trojans found success running the ball. Corley took special note of the tough play of the offensive line, which again sparked big plays in the run game for Travious Wigfall and Samuel Bedenbaugh.
Wigfall finished the game with 119 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns. Bedenbaugh also found the end zone early in the game to give the Trojans their first lead. He was effective in the pass game as well completing six of his 10 attempts for 59 yards.
“They’re definitely two special kids back there; that’s why they’re in the star positions for us,” Corley said. “Again, you’ve got to give credit to the guys up front. The line really did a good job and made his job easier.”
Corley said his team will enjoy the win and look forward to moving on. However, he doesn’t plan to change much up in the next round when his team will travel to take on No. 2 seed Great Falls.
“We’ll do what we do every week at practice and I guarantee the kids will be ready to play,” he said. “We’re just excited to still be playing.
Eric Russell covers sports for the Aiken Standard. He graduated from USC Aiken in 2012 with a degree in communications.
RSM - 7 21 3 3 - 34
WS - 0 6 0 7 - 13
RSM — Samuel Bedenbaugh 1 run (Fernandez kick)
RSM — Wigfall 2 run (Fernandez kick)
RSM — Wigfall 10 run (Fernandez kick)
RSM — Wigfall 2 run (Fernanzez kick)
WS — Stroman 66 run (two-point conversion pass failed)
RSM — Carlos Fernandez 18 field goal
RSM — Carlos Fernandez 33 field goal
WS — Eric Corley 70 kickoff return (kick good)
RSM — Wigfall 23-119 3TDs, Bedenbaugh 8-31 1TD, Craig Burton 4-33, Corey Hopkins 2-28
WS — Stroman 5-60 1TD, Corley 5-38, Ke’Aunri Holmes 4-23, Nijae Jerry 1-(-4)
RSM — Bedenbaugh 6-10-59
WS — Stroman 0-5 1 INT, Jerry 2-6-20 2 INT
RSM — Johnathon Gibson 5-52, Rocky Isreal 1-7
WS — Kyiian Miller 1-14, Bobby Chavis 1-6
RSM — Corey Hopkins 1-46, Trey Abney 1-38, Rafael Leaphart 1