At the Tri-County Media Day in July Ranburne head coach Stephen Bailey talked about how his team was “finally old,” meaning the lineup was filled almost exclusively with juniors and seniors after years of filling spots with underclassmen.
On Friday in Ranburne’s preseason jamboree at Ohatchee, that experience showed.
Ranburne did not win either of its two-quarter contests with a 10-7 loss to Westbrook Christian (and former Piedmont coach Steve Smith) and a 13-7 defeat against host Ohatchee, but those losses could not be laid at the feet of the Ranburne first-teamers.
With a second-year starter at quarterback and a senior cornerstone on the defensive line, Ranburne showed why it’s first unit on both sides of the ball could make it a playoff contender deep into October.
Quarterback Kaide Garrett orchestrated touchdowns drives on Ranburne’s first possession against each opponent, and he did it with big plays in the passing game and also with a grinding runing attack.
Against Westbrook, Garrett did it through the air, with a 54-yard touchdown pass to Truett Ward on the third play from scrimmage.
Against Ohatchee, it was a 10-play, 65-yard drive in which Garrett ran for 18 yards, threw for 20 and let running back Zach Buchannan run for the rest. Buchannan rushed 29 yards on six carries on the drive, setting Garrett up for a 1-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown on fourth and goal.
In all Garrett completed 4-of-6 passes for 85 yards and a touchdown and ran seven times for 40 yards and a score. And against both opponents he left the game with his team in the lead.
But it wasn’t all offense for the Bulldogs, who got some outstanding play on the defensive line by Trey Ertzberger, who delivered the hit of the night against Westbrook Christian. Ertzberger blew up a third-and-7 run attempt for a three-yard loss, which forced the Warriors to end that possession with a field goal. Nate Merrill also had a big sack against the Warriors, while Jacob Alewine and Ward both played well in pass defense.
Ranburne played a total of four 8-minute quarters against the two teams, with the starters only playing the first quarter against each team.
Ranburne will open its regular season at home next Friday against White Plains.