ELLENBORO-The Red Devils from Ravenswood dominated both time of possession as well as total yards, but when the smoke cleared from Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium it was the Rebels from Ritchie County that came out on top by a 15-12 score on Homecoming Night.
Ravenswood, now 2-3 with a home contest against Braxton County next Friday, came out red hot when junior Devon Crews took the opening handoff at the Red Devils' 14 yard line, broke through two would-be tacklers and raced 86 yards for the game's first score just 22 seconds into the game.
Mason Carte's attempt for the point after kick was blocked by the Rebels' Alex Lipscomb-a play that would come back to haunt the Jackson Countians later in the game-to keep the score at 6-0.
Those would prove to be the only points of the first 24 minutes of action as Ritchie County was able to drive to the Red Devils' 27 on its second possession of the first quarter, but Rebels' quarterback Trevor Shepler was tossed for a five-yard loss by Ravenswood's Donavyn Estep on third-and-8 and Jessie Hilvers' fourth down run on a draw play netted only four yards, giving the ball back to the visitors at their own 28.
Ravenswood would spend the remainder of the first quarter and much of the second quarter in Rebel territory, but a missed 32-yard field goal by Carte as well as a pair of series where they turned the ball over on downs kept the score at 6-0 as the two teams headed for the locker rooms at the intermission.
Ritchie County, which travels to Lincoln next Friday night, appeared to finally light up the scoreboard on a 55-yard run by Hilvers, but the Rebels were flagged for holding and the drive ended with a Tyler Reed punt three plays later.
Again the Red Devils marched deep into Ritchie territory on their first possession of the second half, but came away empty when Heath Burgess' fourth down pass to Rhyrs Jelich was incomplete giving the ball to the hosts at their 31.
One play later the crowd was brought to its feet when senior Devon Jones broke off of right tackle and scampered 69 yards for the game-tying touchdown. Freshman Orlando Burgy came on to make good on the PAT and the Rebels had their first lead of the game, 7-6, with 5:57 left to play in the third quarter.
A lead the Rebels would hang on to until Ravenswood put together a 13-play, 80-yard drive which culminated in a 2-yard Crews score to put the visitors back on top, 12-7, with 4:17 left in the game. The Red Devils' attempt for the two-point conversion came up short, however.
Ritchie would take the lead for good two plays later when Hilvers, who finished with 62 yards on nine carries, broke through a pair of arm tackles and raced 49-yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:24 showing on the clock. This time it would be the Rebels going for the two-pointer and they were successful as Shepler hit Jones for the score.
It was now time for the defense to shine as Ravenswood was forced to go to the air. Burgess was able to connect on 3-of-5 attempts, but his final one went for no gain on a fourth-and-5 play from the Devils' 40.
The victory ended an 11-game drought by the Rebels, who upped their mark to 4-2 on the season.