BROOKSVILLE — If the Miami Dolphins can upset the New England Patriots and USC can lose to Oregon State, it shouldn't come as that much of a surprise that Central upset Ridgewood on Friday.
In their long-awaited Class 4A, District 8 opener and home opener, the Bears took care of business.
The road to victory was full of obstacles for Central (2-2), especially for its defense. Sterling Ross, the star tailback for Ridgewood (2-1), trampled the Bears' front eight on his way to 267 yards on 32 carries and both Rams touchdowns.
Central's Austin Forte also had a successful night running. He had 144 yards on 29 carries and one touchdown. His running allowed Central to control the clock once it captured the lead.
"Austin is just tough and a great competitor," Central coach Cliff Lohrey said. "He's one of those kids who can just will the whole team when he needs to."
The upset was possible because of some opportunistic plays by Central on defense and special teams. Ridgewood's Jimmy Mattos was intercepted three times before being pulled in the fourth quarter, and a key 47-yard punt return by Artie Gartner set up the second Central touchdown.
"I don't care if we run the ball 30 times a game or pass it 30 times," Lohrey said. "Our success is built on exploiting the other team's weaknesses."