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MILLVILLE — Whether it’s been a warm, late summer evening, or a rainy fall night, Ridgeline has dominated its opponents all season long on the football field.

The undefeated Riverhawks wrapped up their first nine games averaging 43 points per game and giving up just 11.

The weather Wednesday night for Ridgeline’s final regular season game against Box Elder was different than it’s been all season. Piles of snow from Tuesday morning’s storm surrounded the circumference of the field, and temperatures were in the 30’s.

But the result was no different.

The Ridgeline offense scored six touchdowns in six possessions in the first half, en route to a 57-27 victory over the Bees to close out regular season play with a perfect 10-0 record.

“I guess (Box Elder) is an offense that's a little bit difficult to prepare for and so you could tell we're a little shaky early in the game and then I thought our kids battled really well," Ridgeline head coach Travis Cox said. "Our offense just keeps playing really well. They're clicking on all cylinders right now."

On his senior night, quarterback Kaden Cox — who one Ridgeline assistant exclaimed was “the best quarterback in the state” — was 19 of 24 passing for 219 yards, six passing TDs and a rushing touchdown. Fellow senior, running back Noah White, finished with 12 rushes for 169 yards and a TD.

What did both players have in common? They were aided by a stout offensive line. Cox, like he has most of the season, had ample time to sit in the pocket and connect with open receivers. He wasn’t sacked and was hardly pressured. The line also created nice holes for White, who was able to break out along the edges for large gains all night long.

“Everyone knows you don't have a good offense without a great offensive line,” coach Cox said. “And those guys have been tremendous all year and we can count on them in the run game, we count on in the pass game and they’re just a talented group that are really kind of playing well together right now.”

Senior offensive lineman Alex Lundahl recognizes the success his unit has had this season and attributes much of it to his coaches.

“As an offensive line unit we really just trust our coaching,” Lundahl said. “Like we got Jarom, who does a great job, we got coach (Dave) Kuresa, they both do just amazing jobs when we trust everything that they say. They are just leading us to where we need to be because right now we're having a great year.”

The offensive line and the rest of the offense got it rolling early on Wednesday night. On the first drive of the game, Cox connected with receiver Jackson Simmons for a 31 yard gain, then found receiver Stratford Simmons in the end zone for a 1-yard TD.

The subsequent possession, Cox passed off his back foot and hit Olsen in the end zone for a 25-yard score. They’d find the end zone four more times in the first half, including a 30-yard run from White.

“I think that we come out every week of practice even on a short week like this, we got one day (to practice) but that one day we worked really, really hard,” Lundahl said. “And so we were out here we were ready to go and we just executed I guess.”

Defensively for the Riverhawks, things didn’t begin quite as smoothly. Starting their first defensive possession of the game, it was already 7-7, thanks to an 80-yard kickoff return from Box Elder’s Cole Mortensen.

The Bees (3-7), known for their old-school rushing attack that boasts both a fullback and a tailback, managed to move the ball down the field. They capped off the drive with a 12-yard TD pass from quarterback Cooper Stevenson to tight end Tallin Chappell with 3:58 left in the first quarter. After a two-point conversion, they led the Riverhawks 15-14.

Then it was all Ridgeline. The hosts scored 36 straight points to build a 50-15 lead with 6:57 left in the third quarter. The Box Elder offense continued to move the ball — they finished with 320 yards off total offense — but three fumbles and an interception aided a scoreless second and third quarter.

For the Riverhawks, it’s nice to once again win in dominant fashion. As they turn their attention to the playoffs, a concern is they haven’t been challenged much this season.

“You know, obviously it's a concern because we haven't had a close game in a while,” coach Cox said. “It’s actually good because we had a little bit of a scare early on after the return kick and so it's a concern but we have a pretty veteran group. We just gotta stay fresh and keep rolling along and you know the good thing about tonight is we didn’t really get any injuries and so we should be pretty healthy going into the playoffs.”

“We've have a couple of games where we get a little bored,” Lundahl said. “Like maybe we want to come out and cheer on our JV guys. But you know it's football at the end and we obviously have a ball playing and it's fun being really good.”

———

RIVERHAWKS 57, BEES 27

Wednesday at Millville

Box Elder 15  0  0 12 — 27

Ridgeline 22 21 7  7 — 57

First Quarter

R — Strat Simmons 1 pass from Kaden Cox (Aaron Young kick), 8:56

BE — Cole Mortensen 80 kickoff return (Nate Reynolds kick), 8:44

R — Jackson Olsen 25 pass from Cox (Young kick), 8:26

BE — Tallin Chappell 12 pass from Cooper Stevenson (Chappell pass from Stevenson), 3:58

R — Noah White 6 pass from Cox (Peyton Knowles pass from Cox), 0:22

Second Quarter

R — Knowles 11 pass from Cox (Young kick), 9:55

R — White 30 run (Young kick), 6:36

R — Simmons 12 pass from Cox (Young kick), 0:02

Third Quarter

R — Cox 4 run (Young kick), 6:57

Fourth Quarter

BE — Chappell 5 pass from Stevenson (kick failed), 11:37

R — Landen Kimball 63 run (Young kick), 10:00

BE — Matt Stratton 60 run (pass failed), 2:10

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