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Friday December 9 2022
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U.S. Steel High School Football Game of the Week: Elizabeth Forward at Ringgold

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Elizabeth Forward and Ringgold are both headed toward the playoffs. Both also have a chance at making noise with a deep postseason run. Before either team can look ahead though, they will focus on their matchup this Friday night with third place on the line.

“There is a lot at stake in terms of where the chips may fall for the third spot in the playoffs,” Ringgold head coach Matt Humbert said. “This is one of the bigger games of the year for us. We lost a close one to them last year and now we’re pretty much in the same position. We are treating it like a playoff game.”

Tied for third place in the AAA Big Nine Conference, the two squads each hold a record of 4-2. The similarities don’t end there, though. Both teams enter the tilt having won four of their last five games -- mostly thanks to outstanding quarterback play.

Leading the charge for Humbert and the Rams is junior play-caller Nico Law. The WPIAL’s seventh leading passer has thrown for more than 1,000 yards this season and rushed for 709 more. That total is good enough to rank him as one of western Pennsylvania’s top 20 rushers. 

“He is kid that can hurt you with his feet and his arm. Our entire offense is predicated around him,” Humbert said. “He’s flourished this year and he put in time during the offseason.”

Law’s top targets are Alan Prichett and Dayshore Majors. Both have hauled in more than 300 yards receiving this year.

Elizabeth Forward has their own stud quarterback though. Recent Pitt commit JaQuan Davidson is a budding WPIAL superstar and he has the stats to back it up. The senior has thrown for 586 yards and nine touchdowns while rushing for 562 yards.

Humbert knows what he is up against.

“We have to take away what they do best and not over-coach or over-play. We’re just going to let the kids go out and do what they have been doing.”

Backstopping Davidson is a pair of dynamic running backs in Jalen French and Ryan Wardropper. The duo has rushed for more than 725 yards in just six games.

"They are well balanced with that tandem. We have to go out and stay honed in on fundamentals,” Humbert preached. “NothiUSSng is for certain, but I like our chances with our remaining teams. [Elizabeth Forward] is a good football team. They can’t be taken lightly.”

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