"It was a dive play, and I got in there fast, as the quarterback was completing the transaction with the running back," Ragin-Nickson said. "I was getting ready to finish the tackle, but I wasn't heading down [to the turf] at all. I realized my hand was around the ball and I pulled it away.
"I'm pretty fast for a big guy. Particularly this time. I didn't think they had time to notice I had the ball, but [teammates] said three guys were chasing me. Well, I only saw one. When I finally turned around and saw where he was, I thought, 'I got this.' I even slowed down.
"To be a senior and get a chance to run for a TD, that's special. Real special. I've been telling coach John I'm a much faster guy now. I've been playing basketball and doing a lot of running with my dogs. Glad I could prove it to him."
Ragin-Nickson sounded overjoyed when told Gossett would try him in the backfield with star rusher Rolando Ransom.
"That's going to be awesome!" he said. "I'm going to make it special."
He'd made wonderful comments about Gossett even before learning about his new assignment.
"He has taught me everything pertaining to football and life," Ragin-Nickson said. "He has made me into a man. It's a great experience being around him."
Against Hill School, Episcopal became the first city team to post 11 points in a win since Bartram, vs. West Philly, on Nov. 6, 2003. That time, the "extra five" went to Seku Kamara on a conversion run and field goal. This time, there were two safeties and Quinn Hager's PAT . . . Late in regulation vs. Roxborough, Franklin wideout Chris Sullivan motioned to a ref after minimal contact and milked an interference call. Standing nearby, Roxborough principal Stephen Brandt yelled at Sullivan, "Nice call, Number 80!" Defender Dre'von Williams heard that and said to Brandt, "You're our principal and you're rooting for them?! That's not right." Brandt said to someone nearby, "That was sarcasm. I'll explain it to him later." . . . In the two games I saw Saturday (Penn Charter-Judge, Ryan-Carroll), helmets popped off guys' heads a total of eight times . . . Ernie Wilson ('61), a strong supporter of the program, was West Philly's honorary captain for the game vs. University City. Without benefit of music/microphone, cheerleaders Rialiah Gaynor and Zoie Beckett did a great job singing the national anthem . . .
Accompanying Judge captain Eric Condron for the coin toss vs. Penn Charter, and even doing the flipping, was Sean Brightcliffe, a special-needs student at Hillcrest Elementary, in Holland, Bucks County. Sean's dad, Ken, played for Judge and the family formerly lived in Mayfair. Sean's an honorary captain as part of Judge's new tie with Athletes Helping Athletes Inc. . . . Judge posted 200 actual yards in a four-play span: 51-yard pass from Rob Daniels to John Landis (negated by hold), 86-yard TD run for Matt Smalley, no gain for Marquis Seamon, 63-yard TD run by Seamon . . . In his first lifetime football appearance, 6-1, 192-pound Ryan senior Matt Martinez, star defender for the soccer team, went 6-for-6 on PATs and made a full-body, solo, midfield tackle on Carroll's Eric Massenburg to likely prevent a 99-yard, kickoff-return TD. "I didn't think I was going to do that," Martinez said. "But I was happy I did" . . .
A week after wide receiver William Fuller (276 yards) and quarterback Michael Keir (332) broke Roman's school records for game yardage, Marcus Kelly (324) came within 5 of tying Rocco Trivarelli's 1996 rushing mark . . . After scoring only 12 points through Week 3, Bartram posted four TDs of 50-plus yards in a 38-28 loss to Washington: runs of 70 and 52 by Brandon Jones; run of 62 by Michael Pritchette; pass of 56 from Pritchette to Kevin Clarke. Washington's Hakeem Sillman, meanwhile, ran 23 times for 200 yards and five scores . . . Yvon Dessus, Bok's backup quarterback, recently transferred to Overbrook and started last week vs. Germantown . . . Two of the school's former coaches, Lou Grandizio (1964-85) and Gene Kelly (2002-09), watched second-year boss Ed McGettigan steer Lincoln past Southern . . . On limited touches, Central soph handyman Walt Pegues boasts seven TDs.
Online high school coverage at philly.com/rally.