Cedar Ridge clinches playoff spot with win over McNeil


Sam Robinson isn't one to look too far ahead, but the thought of a return trip to the state postseason put a smile on his face on Friday.

His Cedar Ridge Raiders clinched a spot in the Class 6A playoffs with a 45-28 win over McNeil at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex on Friday night. With the win, they secure at least second-place in District 13-6A.

"You get into situations where you either win or your season's done, and really, we just focus on each game and each win," Robinson said. "You never know when those playoff runs are gonna come and you have to appreciate them. I am very excited to get back into the playoffs and see what happens."

Jaylen Ellis caught five passes for 153 yards and a touchdown while running back Deuce Vaughn -- fresh off of his school record of 407 yards last week -- had 13 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown. 

Cedar Ridge quarterback Jalen Brown threw for 191 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a score. 

Defensive tackle Akil Chavies hauled in an interception and recovered a fumble in the win.

McNeil's Zane Kampfer was 22-of-33 passing for 337 yards and four touchdowns in the defeat. Mavs wide receiver Jordan Kerley hauled in 10 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns.

The loss eliminated McNeil from postseason contention. 

Ellis and Brown connected on a 64-yard screen play on the Riaders' first drive. McNeil quickly equalized with a short field following a muffed punt when Kampfer nailed Kerley with a 17-yard strike in the right corner of the end zone.

Cedar Ridge scored 17 unanswered points going into halftime. And the Raiders scored a pair of rushing touchdowns early in the second half to all but ice the game. 

"I really liked when we had to bear down and run the ball," Robinson said. "We had some different backs in there and our o-line to really got it done. We saw some stuff we liked."

The Mavericks would have no trouble moving the ball in third and fourth quarters, adding three touchdowns from the arm of Kampfer. Blake Henke caught two, from 62- and 18-yards away, and Kerley hauled in a 20-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. 

Cedar Ridge takes on Westwood at Kelly Reeves, while McNeil faces off with Hendrickson at The PField next Friday in the regular season finale.

Though the Raiders have the postseason to look forward to in two weeks, Robinson's team will take things one game at a time. 

"We're not looking ahead, just trying to get better," Robinson said. "There's still a lot of stuff we need to clean up before the postseason, just some routine plays; the boring stuff we can still get better at."

Follow @HCNSports on Twitter and Instagram for the latest news on all local and regional sports. 

Email: sports@hillcountrynews.com