The Ridgeland Panthers opened the first round of the GHSA AAAA State Playoffs Friday night as they hosted Chapel Hill from Douglasville, Georgia.
Ridgeland won region 6-AAAA for the second straight year and completed the season with an undefeated record for the first time in school history. The Panthers entered the game ranked as high as second in the state in the Maxwell and Georgia Sportswriters poll.
They were ranked third by Max Preps and fourth in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, GPB and Score Atlanta polls.
Chapel Hill, the fourth seed from the tough region 5-AAAA, entered the game with a 6-4 record.
Ridgeland’s defense set the tone from the start. The Panthers defense picked off a Chapel Hill pass on the first series and the offense quickly turned that into a 7-0 lead with a 4-yard Gabe McDonald touchdown run.
On the next series, the Ridgeland defense sacked Chapel Hill’s quarterback and forced a fumble which bounced into the end zone and was recovered by Jordan Blackwell to give Ridgeland the 14-0 lead.
Chapel Hill would fumble again on the next series as well. This time it was Terrance Roberts who recovered the ball and found the end zone to put Ridgeland up 21-0 early in the first quarter.
Markeith Montgomery scored three touchdowns in the first half to put Ridgeland out of reach.
Despite the fact that the second half was played with a running clock, Ridgeland would score on both of their drives after the half, winning the game 63-7.
Next up for the Panthers is Jefferson. The Dragons are 9-2 and ranked ninth in the Georgia Sportswriters poll. The game will be played Friday at Ridgeland’s Bowers and Painter Field.
Videos are available on the Ridgeland Video Twitter page.