ELLENBORO-On a Friday night that began on a sad note, No. 8 (Class AA) Ritchie County sent the hometown fans away happy as the Rebels overcame their own miscues en route to handing No. 13 (Class A) Doddridge County a 33-22 setback at Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium on Homecoming Night.
The evening began with a heart-warming tribute to former Rebel standout Chuck Schofield, who died tragically during the 1993 season, as family members and teammates met to remember the 20th anniversary of their fallen comrade.
However, the mood quickly changed when senior Dylan Frye took a pitchout from senior quarterback Alex Lipscomb on a third-and-9 play from the Ritchie 19 and raced past the Bulldogs defenders for an 81-yard score that have the hosts the lead for good, 6-0, with 4:02 left in the opening quarter.
Photo by Jim Butta
Ritchie County senior Alex Lipscomb warms up prior to the Rebels showdown with Doddridge County on Homecoming Day. The quarterback completed 6-of-16 attempts for 139 yards and three touchdowns in a 33-22 win.
Those would be the only points of the first half - but not of the game -as the Rebels, who travel to Ravenswood next Friday night for an important Little Kanawha Conference Class AA showdown with the Red Devils, as the hosts took advantage of three Doddridge County turnovers and a 66-yard bomb from Lipscomb to Frye to race out to a 33-6 lead with one quarter left to play.
"It (the halftime talk) wasn't pretty," Ritchie County head coach Mike Dawson said. "I'm pretty sure some of the paint may have melted off of the wall. But, we were able to make some adjustments and those proved to be the difference in the second half."
Doddridge County, now 4-1 with a road contest against Parkersburg Catholic next Saturday, took the opening kick and proceeded to put together a 13-play drive that put the ball at the Rebels' 20. However, despite burning nearly six and one half minutes off of the clock, the visitors failed to make a fourth-and-4 and turned the ball over to the Rebels.
Three plays later Frye, who finished with 80 yards rushing and 122 yards receiving, came in motion and took the short pitchout from Lipscomb. The speedy receiver made one would-be tackler missed, received a pair of crushing blocks and proceeded to race, untouched, down the home sideline for the score.
The Bulldogs would cross the midfield stripe two more times before the intermission, but were turned away on both occasions by a Ritchie defense that came up with a fumble recovery to end one possession and forced a punt after allowing their border rivals to reach the Ritchie 46 with three minutes left in the half.
Defense would continue to set the tone for the hosts as Austin Weekley's second fumble recovery handed the blue and gray a first down at the Doddridge 14. Four plays later, Austin Garrett cracked over the goal line from three yards out to increase the lead to 12-0 with 8:13 showing on the clock.
Less than 90 seconds later the score would jump to 18-0 as an Alex Lipscomb interception of a David Lipscomb (Doddridge) pass led to a 14-yard scoring pass Tyler Reed.
Another turnover, this time coming on a Weekley interception, led to the Rebels' third score of the quarter when Cory Farley hauled in a Alex Lipscomb pass for a 10-yard score.
The Bulldogs were able to get on the scoreboard late when Jarrod Sandy pulled in a 55-yard scoring pass from David Lipscomb, Brandon Stewart scored on a 20-yard run and Hunter Riffle hauled in a 40-yard pass from Christian Arbogast-the last score coming with 23.8 seconds left.