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posted: 9/21/2012 10:36 PM

Ritchie hurt again in Burlington Central win

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By Brian Schaumburg
Daily Herald Correspondent

Burlington Central senior Ryan Ritchie returned from injury Friday night.

He didn't finish the game.

Ritchie threw 3 touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Rockets defeated Genoa-Kingston, 26-14, in Big Northern East football at Rocket Hill. But after Central's final touchdown, Ritchie was sacked on the 2-point conversion attempt and injured his right thumb.

"Don't want to say anything for sure because there is a chance (the on-field doctor) can be wrong, but he's pretty positive it's a torn ligament in my thumb," Ritchie said. "If it is, there is a 100 percent chance I need surgery."

Ritchie said he could return playing another position, but he would not be able to play quarterback. He was unable to grip the football after the injury. Ritchie had not played since injuring his left ankle on the second play from scrimmage in Week 2 against Stillman Valley.

"It felt so good," Ritchie said about getting back on the field on Central's homecoming. "Watching your team warm up without you for two weeks is really hard."

Ritchie watched his replacement, Tyler Majewski, led the Rockets (4-1, 3-0) to two consecutive victories. Majewski was back at his normal starting position as a wide receiver Friday and caught 2 first-half touchdowns from Ritchie as the game was tied 14-14 at halftime.

Central's Tarek Ahmed intercepted a tipped pass from the Cogs' Adam Price with 1:25 remaining in the third quarter to give the Rockets the ball on the Cogs' 26. Four plays later, Ritchie scored on a 6-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter. A bad snap on the point after and incomplete pass made the score 20-14, the Rockets first lead.

Ritchie hit Carter Muelling for a 7-yard score with 5:58 left in the game. The Rockets went for the 2-point conversation, but Ritchie was sacked on the play and injured his thumb. Majewski finished the game at quarterback.

"We'll get a re-evaluation on that. That was an on-the-field diagnosis," Central coach Rich Crabel said of Ritchie's injury. "If not, Tyler Majewski got us through two games (that he started) and played really well. The system makes the quarterback successful."

Ritchie was 8-of-13 passing for 113 yards and rushed for 106 yards on 16 carries. Reilly Marino had 142 yards rushing on 13 carries as the Rockets had 287 yards rushing.

Gabe Williams had a 71-yard touchdown run and Eli Thurbly had a 11-yard touchdown run in the first half for the Cogs (2-3, 2-1). Central held the Cogs to just 91 yards in the second half and had 2 interceptions.

"That was a tight game all the way through," Genoa-Kingston coach Travis Fredericks said. "We thought we'd be able to move the ball in the second half. They did a nice job slowing us up."

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