RINGLING - For the third straight game this season, the Ringling Blue Devils relied on their bread and butter: their strong running attack.

RINGLING - For the third straight game this season, the Ringling Blue Devils relied on their bread and butter: their strong running attack. 

The powerful running game and swarming defense of the Blue Devils proved to be too much for Marietta to match up with as Ringling claimed a 52-6 Homecoming victory over the Indians Friday night at Rick Gandy Memorial Stadium. 

With the victory, the Blue Devils moved to 3-0 on the season, while the Indians suffered their first defeat of the year, falling to 2-1. 

There was a distinct difference between the two teams when it came to rushing yards on the night, as the Blue Devils rolled up 352 rushing yards on 54 carries compared to just 24 rushes for a net of 13 yards for the Indians. 

Ringling was able to control the game and the clock throughout the contest recording 22 first downs to Marietta’s five. 

The Blue Devils ran more plays (56-37) than the Indians, and defensively Ringling picked off three Marietta passes. 

Thirteen of the Indians’ 24 rushing plays were for negative yardage with Ringling controlling the line of scrimmage from sideline to sideline.

“Even though we won our game last week (against Dickson), I did not feel we played as sharp as we could have,” Ringling coach Phil Koons said. “Tonight was a different story. Everyone came out and played very well on both sides of the football. We played Ringling Blue Devil football tonight. Maybe it was being at home, but we want to keep things moving in this direction the rest of the season.”

Ringling scored first on a 10-yard run around left end by quarterback Sam Van Buskirk five minutes into the game. Following the two-point conversion from Kash Lyle, Ringling led 8-0. 

With two minutes left in the first, Blue Devil lineman Caleb Stewart swatted down a pass attempt by Marietta quarterback Nolan Birks, and managed to catch  it in mid-air and run it  25 yards for a touchdown to give Ringling a 15-0 edge after the extra point. 

Marietta managed to get on the board early in the second quarter for their only key offensive play of the night. 

Backed up to their own 2-yard line, Birks hit Carlos Whibbey on a crossing pattern at the Indians 30-yard line before Whibbey then out-ran Blue Devil defenders on the way to a 98-yard touchdown to trim Ringling’s lead to 15-6.

But the Blue Devils put up three more touchdowns late in the half. Kash Lyle scored on scoring runs of 1 and 6 yards. It was Van Buskirk then hitting Caige Calvert with a 12-yard scoring toss to make it a 34-6 halftime lead for Ringling. 

Lyle finished the game with 19 carries for 132 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Blue Devils on offense.

“Ringling is a very good football team, and they are well-coached,” Marietta coach Sam Powers said. 

“They are fast on both sides of the football. They use that speed along with their physical play at the point of attack to get the job done.”

“We played well at times,” Powers added. “Right now it is important that we find our identity as a team and work to improve on where we are as we move into district play.”

The Blue Devils continued to dominate through the second half through a 7-yard scoring run by Lyle in the third, which moved the lead to 40-6. 

“This was a great outing for us,” Koons said. “Our blocking up front showed a lot of progress over where we were a week ago.”

 “The defense was just fabulous. It was a much better effort in every phase of the game than what we had in our first two games,” Koons added.

In the fourth, Ringling’s Marshall Howell scored on runs of 7 yards and 13 yards to finish off the win.

The Blue Devils begin district play at 7:30 p.m. Friday night on the road against Walters, while Marietta will host Comanche to open district.