To find the last time a Ridgewood team finished a season at or below .500, you have to go all the way back to 2014.
Four games into the 2020 season, the threat of that streak ending was very real. At that point, the Maroons were off to a 1-3 start.
Led by a senior class that has made multiple trips to MetLife Stadium, the group came together, galvanized, cleaned up most of their mistakes and the results are starting to show on the field.
Colin Feeney, one of those seniors, started Friday’s game with a bang and the team never looked back. Feeney broke free for a 56-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and Ridgewood rode the momentum all the way to a 28-8 win over Paterson Eastside in Ridgewood.
The Maroons have now won three in a row and are 4-3 entering the postseason.
“We know how to light the fuse,” he said. “That’s been our biggest play the whole year. First play of the game, come at them with a full head of steam.”
It was the spark the ground game was looking for.
Finney added a 30-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, helping Ridgewood build a 21-0 lead by halftime.
“Collin Feeney is one of the most focused, intense football players I have ever coached,” said Ridgewood coach Dave Cord. “It’s amazing to see his improvement and it starts all with his mental game.”
Fellow senior Sean Emmanuel ran for a touchdown from 15 yards out to give the Maroons a two-possession lead just 8:51 into the game.
Emmanuel is peaking at the right time too, as he has at least one touchdown in five straight games.
“Sean is one of the few players we had coming back with experience,” Cord said. “It’s really showing. He’s reading the field well. He’s running smart. It’s great to see his improvement over the season.”
Paterson Eastside had their own powerhouse running back in Albert Canty. Canty heavily carried the workload but Cord’s defense was ready for the challenge. The team’s big front three in Ryder Langsdale, Anthony Vaccarella and Gary Fletcher, who is the newest of the three, led the way.
“It was a little different style than we’ve seen the last couple weeks,” Cord said. “They’re right at you, physical football. I was proud to see our defensive line step up and win their gaps.”
When Paterson Eastside decided to throw the ball, Michael Rigoglioso was there. The senior grabbed two interceptions and then supplied the dagger offensively when he caught a 36-yard pass from Dan Caiafa to make it a 28-0 game late in the fourth quarter.