Friday night’s round three playoff match-up between Notre Dame and East Ridge High School includes an abundance of All – Region players whose football roots hail from the city of East Ridge.
East Ridge High School is enjoying an historic season, entering Friday night’s game with a 12-0 record. Notre Dame is 9-3 and looking to avenge an earlier loss to the Pioneers.
The Pioneers boast Region 3-3A player of the year Traneil Moore and Coach of the year Tracy Malone. Tre Hubbard has been named Region 3-3A athlete of the year. Also making the All-Region team are East Ridge Players – Pete Sexton, Quasey Vinson, Lorenzo Stewart, Deondre Chambliss, Dominique Millener, Jordan Harvey. While most East Ridge residents are familiar with the outstanding season and players for the Pioneers, few realize how many Notre Dame players have their football roots in East Ridge.
East Ridge’s opponent, Notre Dame, has several All-Region players that played their middle school football at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (“OLPH”) located in East Ridge. Tyler Enos, Defensive Player of the Year and a Mr. Football semi-finalist, started from 6-8 grade at middle linebacker for OLPH. Region 3-3A Running Back of the year Ricky Ballard was a standout runner for OLPH compiling over 3,000 yards rushing. Offensive player of the year Alex Darras played multiple positions for the Rams (Offensive and defensive line, Quarterback, receiver and kicker). As an 8th grader Darras was rated the number one middle school kicker in the nation. A skill he continues to perfect as he nailed a 51 yard field goal in Notre Dame’s playoff win over Upperman last week.
Other Notre Dame All-Region players from OLPH include standout linemen Nick Grannan, Tommy Kulik and Sam Stovall.
The playoff game featuring 14 All-Region players with ties to the city of East Ridge is expected to draw a huge crowd. It was learned Monday afternoon that the venue for the game has been changed to Finley Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Story by L. Scott