Football: East Ridge season comes to an end in section finals
Eastview 27, East Ridge 17
Brotherhood and family.
Those two words describe this East Ridge football team this season.
That togetherness was shown before, during and after Friday night's game as the No. 2 seed Raptors fell to No. 3 seed Eastview 27-17 to end their season in the section finals.
"It's not winning and losing," said head coach Dan Fritze. "It's that we don't get be around these players every day."
It was a night with two good teams and Fritze knew the key to success was to limit the amount of errors on both sides of the ball. East Ridge had a few mistakes with some interceptions and fumble recoveries that gave Eastview the opportunity to capitalize on them.
And Eastview did.
At the half, Eastview was up 13-10 and East Ridge came out in the third quarter ready to take the lead again. The Raptors did just that as Kendall Moore went in for a rushing touchdown and gave East Ridge a 17-13 lead in the third quarter.
Eastview didn't go away though in the fourth quarter and used a couple of interceptions from Zach Zebrowski to take the lead back and, eventually, win the game.
With this loss, East Ridge ends its season in the section finals. More importantly though, the Raptors lose 28 seniors on the varsity roster.
Those seniors mean everything to Fritze because to him, they're more than just football players.
"[The seniors] are just amazing humans," Fritze said. "That's really all there is to it. You don't find a group like that. They're unbelievable."
Even though the season has come to an end, East Ridge finished the 2018 season with a 5-3 regular season record. The Raptors went on a four-game winning streak beating some tough conference opponents like Stillwater and Cretin-Derham Hall.
The Raptors went on to win the first round of the playoffs last week with a 44-16 win over Forest Lake. For Fritze, he enjoys seeing the growth of each player on this team and hopes to continue seeing that in the future.
"We've known these kids since they were young players,' Fritze said. "And now to see them become awesome young men is the coolest thing ever. You just don't want it to end."