ELLENBORO-The last time fans of Ritchie County football had a chance to cheer a Rebels victory in the postseason occurred during the 1994 campaign.
After Friday night's 31-7 setback at the hands on No. 9 Nicholas County (7-3), those fans will have to wait another year to enjoy that moment again. Led by sophomore Wil Mayes' 127 yards the Grizzlies broke open a three-point, 10-7, halftime showdown with the No. 8 Rebels at Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium en route to advancing to next weekend's quarterfinal round where they will face No. 1 Wayne.
Ritchie County (7-4) scored first on a nine-yard run by senior Devon Jones at the 7:05 mark of the opening quarter. Freshman Orlando Burgy added the PAT and the Rebels appeared to have found the formula to send the Grizzlies out of the post season.
Photo by Jim Butta
Ritchie County head coach Mike Dawson, front, looks to make a point with the officials as the Rebels head to the locker room at the intermission. Dawson lost the discussion and his Rebels dropped a 31-7 decision to No. 9 Nicholas County Friday at Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium.
Nicholas County, which had its final regular season contest canceled due to the heavy snowfall that hit the region last weekend, fought back to knot the game at seven when Mayes concluded a 9-play, 61-yard drive with an 18-yard scamper down the visitors' sideline with nine second remaining in the opening quarter. Junior Austin Hill added the PAT to pull the visitors even at seven.
The score would remain knotted until the 2:27 mark of the second quarter when the Grizzlies' Hill, who had missed a 36-yard field goal earlier, connected on a 30-yard field goal to push the visitors into the lead for good, 10-7.
Those would prove to be the final points of the first 24 minutes of action thanks, in part, to a series of bizarre plays just before the intermission.
Bluefield 63, Roane County 27
Roane County (6-5) 7 0 6 14 - 27
Bluefield 14 27 14 8 - 63
B: Johnny David 53 run (Moriarty kick) 11:48 1st.
RC: Keith Kelly 2 run (Hunter Bradley kick) 5:17 1st.
B: DJ Stewart 1 run (Moriarty kick) 2:54 1st.
B: Jackson Carter 50 pass from DJ Edwards (Moriarty kick) 9:31 2nd.
B: Stewart 49 run (Moriarty kick) 6:24 2nd.
B: Carter 43 pass from Edwards (Moriarty kick) 2:24 2nd.
B: Montell Leggett 3 run (kick failed) 0:43 2nd.
B: Corey Coppula 21 run (Moriarty kick) 8:16 3rd.
B: Johnny David 16 run (Moriarty kick)
RC: Tyler King 2 pass from Bradley (pass failed)
RC: Luke Scott 1 run (King pass from Bradley)
B: Charles Ross 54 run (Randall Marcus run)
RC: Cody May 39 run (pass failed)
Roane County: First downs: 13; Rushes-yards: 52-194; Passing yards: 98; Total yards: 292; Passing: 8-15-0; Punts-average: 3-28; Penalties: 1-5
Bluefield: Rushing: 39-397; Passing: 3-8-0, 93 yards;
Rushing: Luke Scott 17-101; Passing: Hunter Bradley 8-15. 98 yards; Receiving: Tyler King 6-73; Steve McGinnis 1-29
Class AA Playoffs
First Round Game
at Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium
No. 9 Nicholas County 31,
No. 8 Ritchie County 7
NCHS (7-3) 7 3 7 14-31
RCHS (7-4) 7 0 0 0-7
RC: Devon Jones 9 run (Orlando Burgy kick) 7:05 1st
NC: Wil Mayes 18 run (Austin Hill kick) 0:09 1st
NC: Hill 30 field goal 2:27 2nd
NC: Joe Amendola 9 pass from Tyler Seagraves (Hill kick) 0:42.7 3rd
NC: Drew Moore 5 pass from Sagraves (Hill kick) 4:31 4th
NC: Mayes 5 run (Hill kick) 2:16 4th
Nicholas County: First downs: 13. Rushes-yards: 38-235. Passing yards: 67. Total yards: 302. Passing: 7-16-0. Fumbles-lost: 4-1. Punts-average: 4-33.0. Penalties-yards: 5-45.
Ritchie County: First downs: 10. Rushes-yards: 37-98. Passing yards: 45. Total yards: 142. Passing: 6-19-3. Fumbles-lost: 0-0. Punts-average: 4-34.0. Penalties-yards: 11-82.
Nicholas County: Rushing: Wil Mayes 19-127, 2 TDs; Tyler Sagraves 11-47; Drew Moore 3-48. Passing: Tyler Sagraves 7-16-0, 67 yards, 2 TD. Receiving: Joe Amendola 4-53, 1 TD; Drew Moore 2-6, 1 TD.
Ritchie County: Rushing: Jessie Hilvers 13-54, Devon Jones 11-57, Tyler Reed 5-34. Passing: Trevor Shepler 6-19-3, 45 yards. Receiving: Jayden Allender 2-25, Tyler Reed 2-16.
Next game: Nicholas County advances to the second round of the Class AA playoffs where it will face No. 1 Wayne at a time and place to be determined on Sunday at the WVSSAC office on W.Va. 47.
Class A Playoffs
No. 5 St. Marys 40,
No. 12 Wirt County 14
Wirt County (7-4) 0 0 8 6 - 14
St. Marys (10-1) 12 14 8 6 - 40
SM: David Gray 14 run (pass failed) 7:30 1st.
SM: Noah Spitzer 22 run (run failed) 1:05 1st.
SM: Gray 7 run (run failed) 4:20 2nd.
SM: Derek Barnhart 1 run (Garrett Furr run) 0:31 2nd.
SM: Spitzer 4 run (Spitzer run) 3:19 3rd.
WC: Jon Cain 59 pass from Josh Trembly (Trembly run) 3:06 3rd.
SM: Colby Brode 3 pass from Andrew Cosper (run failed) 7:34 4th.
WC: Cody Ferguson 5 run (pass failed) 5:44 4th.
Wirt County: First downs: 5; Rushes-yards: 16-(-27); Passing yards: 129; Total yards: 102; Passes: 5-19-2; Punts-average: 2-34; Fumbles-lost: 4-3; Penalties: 4-35
St. Marys: First downs: 24; Rushes-yards: 69-259; Passing yards: 37; Total yards: 296; Passing: 4-5-0; Punts-average: 2-35.5; Fumbles-lost: 3-1; Penalties: 5-30
Wirt County: Passing: Trembly 5-19, 129 yards; Receiving: Cain 3-78
St. Marys: Rushing: David Gray 28-130, 2 TDs; Noah Spitzer 18-105; Andrew Cosper 13-46; Derek Barnhart 8-12; Jeremy Pratt 1-0; Passing: Cosper 4-4, 37 yards; David Gray 0-1; Receiving: Garrett Furr 1-26; Colby Brode 2-2; Gray 1-9
Next game: St. Marys vs. today's Madonna-Tug Valley winner in next weekend's quarterfinals
Class A state playoffs
First round in New Martinsville
No. 2 Magnolia 34,
No. 15 Williamstown 7
Williamstown (6-5) 0 0 0 7 7
Magnolia (10-1) 7 20 0 7 34
M: Stephen Rogalski 99 kickoff return (Clemens Raitmayr kick), 11:45, 1st
M: Rogalski 11 pass from Tanner Hanna (kick failed), 9:49, 2nd
M: Gage Deem 21 pass from Hanna (Raitmayr kick), 8:25, 2nd
M: Todd Lemasters 6 pass from Hanna (Raitmayr kick), 1:41, 2nd
M: Drew Keller 1 run (Raitmayr kick), 11:55, 4th
W: Dakota Watson 5 pass from Jake Tracewell (Garret Butler kick), 8:57, 4th
Williamstown: First down: 9. Rushes-yards: 37-165. Passing yards: 25. Total yards: 190. Passing: 6-12-1. Fumbles-lost: 0-0. Penalties: 1-5.
Magnolia: First downs: 17. Rushes-yards: 35-245. Passing yards: 84. Total yards: 329. Passing: 9-11-1. Fumbles-lost: 1-1. Penalties: 6-65.
Williamstown: Rushing: Dakota Watson 9-108, Trace Hart 20-42, Jake Tracewell 7-15, David Hastings 1-0. Passing: Jake Tracewell 6-12-1, 25 yards. Receiving: Hunter Neely 3-13, Dakota Watson 2-8, Beau Wasmer 1-4.
Magnolia: Drew Keller 26-191, Kage Rohde 5-32, Stephen Rogalski 2-10, Tanner Hanna 2-(minus-3). Passing: Tanner Hanna 9-11-1, 84 yards. Receiving: Stephen Rogalski 5-31, Ryan Walton 1-13, Gage Deem 1-21, Kyle Ritz 1-8, Todd Lemasters 1-6.
Next game: Winner of today's game between Wheeling Central at East Hardy plays at Magnolia, Friday or Saturday in quarterfinal round. (Date and time to be announced Sunday).
West Virginia Prep Scores
By The Associated Press
Cabell Midland 52, Oak Hill 20
George Washington 35, Hurricane 10
Huntington 69, Elkins 26
Lewis County 24, University 23
Musselman 42, Capital 23
Spring Valley 31, Wheeling Park 7
Bluefield 63, Roane County 27
Keyser 61, Mingo Central 14
Nicholas County 31, Ritchie County 7
Scott 26, Wyoming East 16
Wayne 63, Clay County 24
Magnolia 34, Williamstown 7
St. Marys 40, Wirt County 14
Wahama 38, Buffalo 0
Ohio Prep Scores
By The Associated Press
Aurora 27, Kent Roosevelt 13
Avon 24, Tiffin Columbian 14
Chardon 34, Chagrin Falls Kenston 15
Cin. Turpin 42, Franklin 14
Cols. Marion-Franklin 44, Canal Winchester 14
New Albany 42, Dresden Tri-Valley 35
Tol. Cent. Cath. 45, Mansfield Madison 7
Trotwood-Madison 27, Cin. Winton Woods 20, OT
Brookfield 55, Akr. Manchester 14
Clarksville Clinton-Massie 42, Batavia 13
Cols. Hartley 43, Richwood N. Union 0
Creston Norwayne 54, Youngs. Liberty 7
Johnstown-Monroe 42, Ironton 7
Milton-Union 51, Norwood 8
Ottawa-Glandorf 41, Genoa Area 12
St. Clairsville 59, Piketon 27
Danville 28, Zanesville Rosecrans 14
Maria Stein Marion Local 41, Minster 34
McComb 42, Tiffin Calvert 0
Mogadore 28, Berlin Center Western Reserve 7
Newark Cath. 20, Glouster Trimble 13
Youngs. Christian 25, Malvern 20
On the ensuing kickoff following the Grizzlies' made field goal, junior Alex Lipscomb returned the kick 16 yards to give the hosts a first-and-10 at their own 48 with 2:23 showing on the clock.
Three plays-sandwiched between a pair of penalties against the hosts-later the Rebels were forced to punt the ball away at their own 32. Sophomore Tyler Reed's boot traveled inside the Nicholas County 10-yard line where senior Drew Moore fielded the ball and began running up field.
A hard tackle by the Rebels' Bryce Powell, however, jarred the football away from the Grizzlies' player and the loose ball was picked up by the Rebels' Ryan Malson, who returned the ball 28 yards for an apparent touchdown.
That was until the Rebels were flagged for a block-in-the-back on the return, giving the hosts a first-and-10 at the visitors' 17. Three straight passing attempts ended in an incompletion, a sack for an 8-yard loss, and a 2-yard scramble by senior quarterback Trevor Shepler to give the Rebels' a fourth-and-18 at the Nicholas 23. Burgy was called upon to kick a 41-yard field goal, but the attempt was low, allowing the Grizzlies to run out the final seconds of the half to head to the locker room leading by three, 10-7.
Ritchie's offensive woes continued in the second half Shepler's first pass attempt was picked off by the Grizzlies' Joe Amendola. The Rebels' responded on defense and returned the ball back to their offense at the Rebels' 34 with 9:54 showing on the clock.
Again, the Rebels' moved the ball back into Nicholas County territory, and again, the hosts proved to be their own worst enemies as a costly holding penalty on a third-and-3 play at the NC 23 took away a first down and eventually forced the Rebels' to punt the ball away from the visitors' 37.
This time the Grizzlies made their hosts pay for their inability to score as Nicholas County drove 80 yards in 10 plays with Amendola hauling in a Tyler Sagraves pass for the final nine yards with 42.7 seconds left in the third quarter. Hill's second PAT of the game would push the score to 17-7 in favor of the Grizzlies.
Nicholas County, now 7-3, would add a pair of fourth quarter scores on a Sagraves 5-yard pass to Drew Moore and a 5-yard Mayes run while two of Ritchie's final four possessions of the game ended with interceptions.
The Rebels received 57 yards rushing from Jones and another 54 from Jessie Hilvers in the loss. Nicholas County advances to the quarterfinal round where it will take on No. 1, and defending state champion, Wayne.