It’s never a bad thing to be playing high school football on the day after Thanksgiving. Two schools in the
With warmest wishes to you and yours for a Happy Thanksgiving this week, we take a look at both games:
A No. 4
A storybook season for the Wirt County Tigers continued last Friday with a 13-10 win over Little Kanawha Conference rival Williamstown –
The touchdown drive was impressive enough on its own, given that it came after Williamstown had just scored their first touchdown of the game to take a 10-7 lead with six minutes on the clock. What made it more impressive was the fact that the pass-and-catch play for the game-winner occurred on a 3rd and 15 that came after the Wirt offense was docked five yards for a delay of game infraction. Most impressive still? The fact that Trembly hauled in the game-winning TD pass at the five yard line…with one hand. Head coach Jason Hickman knows his Tigers have made their share of incredible plays this season and understands that great players need to step up and make great plays for a winning team to become a championship team.
“We have definitely made some amazing plays to get to this point, and that’s something that can certainly be said for any team that’s made it this far.” Hickman said. “You’ve got to be good, but you have to have a little luck or destiny on your side.”
Coming into this season, the Williamstown Yellowjackets hadn’t lost a game to a Class A LKC foe since 1999 and they hadn’t lost to the Wirt County Tigers since 1997. Now,
“Both present their challenges. Trying to prepare for Williamstown again was definitely difficult.” Hickman remarked. “They’re a really good football team and we knew that trying to beat them twice in the same season wasn’t going to be easy. We didn’t change much against them; they didn’t change much against us. It was just two good football teams going at it and we happened to make one more play than they did.”
The key to both victories for the Tigers was winning the turnover battle. Against a Williamstown team that usually protects the ball better than most in the area, the Tigers were able to force a whopping ten Yellowjacket turnovers between the two contests, including four on Friday night.
“Our kids were definitely able to force them into some mistakes in both games.” Hickman said, in regards to his team’s ability to create turnovers against Williamstown. “We needed that because when you’re playing a good team like that you’re going to have to win the turnover battle.
The Tigers will need to sharpen their claws once more for a similar effort if a win is in store against top-seeded Wahama on Friday night.
“We’ll have to take that same tenacity and pack it in our bags and take it on the road this week because we’re going to need to cause some turnovers against an offense that put 73 points on the board last week.” Hickman said.
After a slim 19-0 win against 16th seeded St. Marys in the opening round of the playoffs, Ed Cromley’s Wahama White Falcons lit up the scoreboard with greater authority in their 73-38 dismantling of East Hardy on Saturday afternoon. All 19 points in Wahama’s first round game were scored in the first quarter. Although he can probably also credit a stern refocusing effort in practice last week, Cromley cites an exploited weakness in East Hardy’s defense as the cause for the offensive explosion.
“I think they played a simplistic defense that let us get to the outside pretty easily and
With an offense that emphasizes the run, but can throw the ball as well, the White Falcons also utilized special teams in a total team victory in the quarterfinal round.
“I think what happened on Saturday where we had three touchdowns and snapped the ball once, special teams came into play too.” Cromley remarked in regards to his team’s win over East Hardy. “I think we’re a pretty solid team all the way around. Our goal always at Wahama is to get better from week to week and practice to practice and that’s continuing through the year.”
After joining the Tri-Valley Conference this season – a conference based primarily in Southeastern Ohio – Wahama has played just as many games against
“Their kids execute everywhere from their line to their backs to their wide receivers. Everyone blocks really well.” Hickman said of his opponent. “It’s not a matter of being surprised by anything, it’s a matter of being able to stop what they’re going to give you.”
As is often the case in football, Cromley feels the game will be decided not by the skill players, but the guys up front – on both sides of the ball.
“I think it’s going to be a battle of the lines, which offensive and defensive lines will rise up and control the game.” said Cromley. “I really think what happens between tackle to tackle will be the difference on Friday night.”
For the Tigers, they know that if a trip to the
“I like the attitude that our kids have had so far this week. They’re loose, relaxed and trying to make some of those plays.” Hickman said. “We’re going to have to make this thing just like last week – get it into the fourth quarter and find a way to win it.”
The game will air locally on V96.9 FM.
AA No. 4
Folks in Ravenswood will experience something out of their Red Devils this holiday weekend they’ve never seen before – a 13th game for their high school football program.
“For the first time in our school history, we’re playing 13 games.” Ravenswood head coach Dick Sturm remarked. “We went 12-0 and won state championships in the 1970’s, but we’ve never played 13 games.”
Thanks to a 48-20 win over a Roane County team they defeated by just four points in the regular season, the Red Devils are one win away from the Super Six. The big difference for Ravenswood in last week’s rematch was the presence of quarterback Cole Starcher, who didn’t play on offense in the week three meeting between the Red Devils and the Raiders. Starcher ran for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage on Friday night as part of his 192-yard effort in the win against the Raiders.
“They weren’t the same team we played in week three and we weren’t the same team that played them in week three.” Sturm said. “As far as our kids’ execution, we’re peaking at the right time.”
Next up for the Red Devils comes the Bluefield Beavers – last year’s state champions in Class AA. For the first time this postseason, the Red Devils face an opponent they didn’t see in the regular season. Not only is it the first matchup this year between Ravenswood and
“Obviously Coach Simon and his staff have done a tremendous job at
Sturm realizes that his Red Devils are a single part of one of the strongest ever playoff fields in state history at the Class AA level. With a combined record of 47-1, it’s a field that doesn’t claim a loss against a
“I think it’s pretty tough in the state of
For the Red Devils, it’s a chance to continue an adventure into new territory. For Sturm, each playoff run is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accomplish something few others have done in the history of Ravenswood high school football.
“It’s an exciting time of year for