RAVENSWOOD-Second-year Ravenswood head coach Mick Price and his Red Devils had to wait an extra week in order to break an 8-game losing streak dating back to the 2012 season.
But, it was worth it as the Jackson Countians jumped out to a 21-0 lead after the first 12 minutes of play and coasted to a season-opening 61-36 victory over Webster County.
"I'm very happy for our kids," Price said. "This was a great way for us to begin a new season and to take some of the pressure off from the way last season ended."
Now 1-0, Ravenswood will look for its first Little Kanawha Conference Class AA win next week when the Raiders from Roane County pay a 7:30 p.m. visit to Flinn Field.
The Red Devils needed only 38 seconds to take the lead for good.
After a 31-yard kickoff return and a 13-yard run by Ben Johnson, senior Devon Crews took a pitchout from senior quarterback Heath Burgess and appeared to be ready to sweep around the left side of the Highlanders' defense. However, the speedy halfback pulled up just before reaching the line of scrimmage and lofted a 31-yard scoring strike to a wide open Thomas Sturm for the game's first score. Nathan Cunningham came on to connect on the PAT and Ravenswood had the lead for good, 7-0, with 11:22 showing on the clock.
That would be just the first salvo in a series of cannon shots by the hosts as Johnson, who finished with 83 yards on only nine carries, tallied from 5 yards out while Crews added the third six-pointer of the quarter from 27 yards away with 28 ticks left on the clock.
Webster County, now 0-2, finally got on the scoreboard on a 1-yard run by quarterback Jacob Thayer, but it would be too little, too late as Ravenswood would tally a trio of touchdowns in the second quarter to take a comfortable 41-6 lead into the locker rooms at the intermission.
Crews, who finished with 65 yards on 10 carries, got things started with a 4-yard run to paydirt then the Red Devils' defense got into the act when junior Rhys Jelich picked off a Thayer pass at the Highlanders' 31 and sprinted to the end zone for the score.
Burgess, who led the hosts with 117 yards on 14 carries and completed 6-of-13 passes for 58 more, sprinted 72 yards for the final score of the first half.
Ravenswood would find paydirt three more times in the second half with Johnson scoring on runs of 11 and 40 yards while Crews closed out the Jackson Countians' scoring on a 40-yard dash with 3:28 left to play in the third quarter.