MATTHEWS Anthony Ratliff said every time he and his Butler teammates step on the football field, they feel like they have something to prove.
Friday night, the Bulldogs (7-3, 4-1) made a big statement on their senior night, scoring 55 unanswered points to roll to 55-6 rout of Porter Ridge.
Ratliff, a junior, led the charge, rushing for 132 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries and passing for 217 yards and another score. Ratliff even had a 5-yard touchdown catch on a halfback pass from Benny LeMay.
We came out here on a mission tonight, said Ratliff, noting his team also wanted to respond to their 28-21 loss to Rocky River last week. As the quarterback, I have to be a leader and come out and make plays for my team every way I can.
Porter Ridge (6-3, 3-1) struck first on their second drive when Casey Hardison beat his man on double move and hauled in a 27-yard scoring strike from quarterback Isaiah Hicklin.
But on the very next drive, on third-and-10 from his own 49, Ratliff somehow eluded three or four would-be Porter Ridge tacklers in the backfield and raced down the left sideline 51 yards to give Butler a 7-6 lead.
Butlers defense added the next score when sophomore cornerback Clifton Duck stepped in front of a Hicklin pass and returned it 42 yards untouched for a touchdown.
Hicklin tossed another interception on the third play of the ensuing drive with the Bulldogs Demetrius Jones tip falling in the hands of teammate, Jarrett Norman.
Five plays later, LeMay ran in up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown and 20-6 lead.
After both offenses stalled several times, Ratliff turned a third-and-short into a 57-yard touchdown run.
We were really motivated this week because of the seniors, and it being senior night, Butler coach Brian Hales said. We talk a lot of the past teams at Butler and these seniors really want to establish their own legacy. But I think everyone our team wants to be a part of doing that.
Porter Ridges offense struggled all night to move the ball with starting tailback Jerrick Robbins out for most of the game and regular starting fullback, Grant Vandervoort still sidelined from a concussion sustained last week.
Hicklin was 6-for-26 passing for 71 yards, a touchdown, but three interceptions, while Andrew Demaria rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries.
Butler has a week off before traveling to rival, Independence. Porter Ridge visits East Mecklenburg on Friday.
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