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Democrat Photo by Rob Potter

ROSCOE’S BRIAN RYDER runs past John Martin (80) and another Eldred defender on his way to the end zone in the second quarter of Saturday’s game.

Ryding the Wave

By Rob Potter
ELDRED — October 23, 2001 – Roscoe’s Brian Ryder wasted little time in adding his name to the school record book on Saturday afternoon.
The senior tailback carried the ball seven times for 193 yards in the first half of the Blue Devils’ Section IX Class D game at Eldred. Those 193 rushing yards put him over the 2,000-yard mark for his varsity career.
Four of Ryder’s carries ended with him in the endzone, helping Roscoe to a 25-0 halftime lead. Roscoe (5-2, 2-1 Class D) went on to post a 38-0 victory.
He had touchdown runs of 2, 13, 38 and 53 yards in the half.
Ryder’s career rushing total now stands at 2,024 yards and he is the third Roscoe running back since coach Fred Ahart began coaching at the school in 1969 to reach the milestone. The other two Blue Devils to do so were Matt Csoka and Tony Brzytwa, both of whom reached the 2,000 yard plateau in the 1990 season.
“The line did an outstanding job and opened up some good holes,” Ahart said.
Like Ahart, Ryder credited his teammates on the offensive line for his performance Saturday.
“I had good blocking in front of me,” Ryder said. “I just had to run through the holes.”
Ryder, who said that “it felt pretty good” to reach the 2,000 mark, has played sparingly in the past few games due to an ankle injury suffered in the first game of the season. After participating in a few series of downs each game, he sat out the October 12 game versus James I. O’Neill.
“I didn’t play last week and that definitely made me want to play more today,” said Ryder, who sat out most of the second quarter and the entire third and fourth quarters to avoid aggrevating his ankle.
Teammate Brian Ballard picked up where Ryder left off. Ballard ran for 79 yards on the day, including a 53-yard touchdown scamper early in the third quarter.
Ballard, a junior quarterback/running back, now has 999 yards rushing in his varsity career.
“Eldred played hard and they deserve credit,” Ahart said.
The Yellow Jackets (1-6, 0-4 Class D) indeed played hard and had some success moving the ball against the Roscoe defense. But they couldn’t move the ball into the redzone.
“The last three games, we have been moving the ball between our 20-yard-line and our opponent’s 20-yard-line,” Eldred coach Frank Kean said. “You can move the ball as far as you want, but if you don’t get it across the goal line, you’re in trouble.”
Kean also noted that his team made mistakes that turned potential fourth-and-short plays into fourth-and-long situations.
As for Roscoe, the team is looking to Saturday’s Class D game at Tri-Valley.
Ahart noted that a win over the Bears would “for all intents and purposes” give the Blue Devils a berth in the Section IX Class D title game at Dietz Stadium in Kingston.
“There are some tiebreaker issues that could factor in, but if we win we would be in good shape,” Ahart said.
Kickoff for Saturday’s Roscoe/Tri-Valley game is slated for 1:30 p.m.
Eldred, meanwhile, hosts Spackenkill in a non-league contest at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

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