Olivo Leads Ridge Past Livingston in Season Finale, 44-21

Devils QB Passes for 2 TDs and Runs for Another in Win over Lancers

BASKING RIDGE, NJ—After its scheduled game against South Brunswick was postponed last Friday night due to a COVID situation, Ridge High School found a way to get back on the football field one last time in this crazy 2020 football season.  Ridge of the Big Central Football Conference’s Division 5D, was able to get together with Livingston of Essex County and the Super Football Conference on Thanksgiving Eve.

Ridge QB Mike Olivo turned in a solid all around performance with his arm and legs.  Olivo threw for two touchdowns and ran for another while fullback Colin Scherzer ran for two more scores as the Red Devils turned in a 44-21 victory over the Lancers.  Olivo completed 56 percent of his 9 passes for 182 yards while rushing 7 times for 145 yards to account for 327 total yards, or 58 percent of his team’s offense.

Olivo averaged 36.4 yards per completion, and 20.7 yards per carry while Scherzer averaged just under 7 yards per carry.  Jack Santonastaso also tossed a TD pass over 91 yards on his only pass attempt of the game.  Six different Ridge players caught a pass as Luke Roberts, Quinn Bunsa, and Christian Edwards each caught a touchdown pass.

Roberts also rushed 3 times for 18 yards to average 21 yards per touch in the contest while also collecting four tackles and an interception.  Harry Hagerman rushed 3 times for 26 yards while catching one pass for 42 yards to average 17 yards per touch.  Ridge’s defense led by the likes of Nolan Murphy, Andrew Taddeo, Kenny Sinofsky, Matthew Lusardi, and Scherzer, tallied three sacks.  Placekicker Jake Beckman had a superb night for Ridge as well with one made field goal of 25 yards and a perfect 5 of 5 on extra points.

Lusardi led Ridge’s defense with 9 tackles while Scherzer and Taddeo collected 6 tackles each.   Livingston quarterback, Dave Cotugno was a bright spot in a losing cause by completing nearly half of his 29 pass attempts for 175 yards and a touchdown while rushing 12 times for 42 yards and another score.  Running back, Quinn Devlin rushed 12 times for 74 yards, or about 6.2 yards per carry.

Nick Guido caught 7 passes for 92 yards, or an average of 13.1 yards per reception while Drew Mazzella caught 3 passes for 66 yards, or an average of 22 yards per reception for the Lancers.  Ben Hauser caught the only touchdown pass for Livingston as he caught 3 passes for 17 yards.  Thomas Gangi led all players with 12 tackles on defense for the Lancers.

Ridge opened the game with the first three scores including the only two touchdowns of the first quarter.  After Livingston got on the board to close the gap to 21-7, the Red Devils added 10 more points for a 31-7 lead in the third quarter.  Livingston outscored Ridge the rest of the way 14-13 to close out the 44-21 victory for the Devils.

The Devils got going right away as Olivo connected with Bunsa for a 30 yard TD pass and a 7-0 lead at the 11:17 mark of the first quarter.  Scherzer then added a 13 yard TD run late in the period for a 14-0 lead, and a one yard plunge in the second for the three score lead.  Following Livingston’s first score of the game on a two yard TD pass from Cotugno to Hauser, Ridge struck back as Olivo hooked up with Roberts for a 66 yard TD pass for a 28-7 lead with 6:30 remaining in the second quarter.

From there, Ridge coasted to victory to finish its season at 6-2 despite all of the obstacles the team faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  After being soundly defeated at Cranford in Week 2, Ridge ended the year with 5 wins in its last 6 games.  Livingston, which lost its final three games of the season, completed its year at 1-4.  The Lancers had not played from October 30th to November 20th, but also found a way to complete its season despite the difficulties.  In that regard, both teams left the field winners.