Objective number one can be marked off the checklist for coach Rick Mullins and his Ridgeview Wolfpack team. The Wolfpack earned their first ever playoff victory on Friday night with a whooping of the Wise Central Warriors 49-14. “We talked earlier this week about making history,” Mullins said. “They wanted to get that first playoff win.”
The Wolfpack did not take long to get off to an explosive start. On the third play from scrimmage, Trenton Adkins raced 42 yards to the house. The extra point by Joe Meggison made the score 7-0 before most fans on the Ridge found their seats.
After a Warrior three and out, the story became the elusive and speedy running style of Matthew Sexton. Between the eight minute mark of the first quarter and the eight minute mark of the second quarter, Sexton touched the football on offense four times. Sexton scored on all four carries. The speedy back scored on carries of 24, 87, 22 and eight yards respectively and the Pack were ahead 35-0 with 7:57 left in the first half. Also during that span, Sexton intercepted an Ethan Mullins pass to set up his fourth touchdown of the night. Sexton, the Eastside transfer, was overjoyed with the performance as well as the victory. “At Eastside last year we made the playoffs, but lost in the first round,” said Sexton. “It just feels extraordinary to get the win this year and advance further.”
The Wolfpack defense also played lights out on the evening. Two fumble recoveries by Carson Sykes, as well as interceptions by Jacob Hensley, Sexton and Quinn Turner all came in the first half of play. Adkins would put an exclamation mark on the first half with his second touchdown of the night at the 3:22 mark of the second quarter. At the half, it was all Wolfpack at 42-0.
With the Wolfpack well in control and the mercy rule in effect, the time was perfect for coach Mullins to get his reserves some playoff experience. Sophomore quarterback Nick Phillips was particularly impressive, scoring from eight yards out to cap the Wolfpack scoring with 3:27 remaining. “It was great to get these younger guys some playing time. I thought some of those guys did an incredible job,” coach Mullins said.
The Warriors can take away inspiration for an outstanding performance over the final month of the season. The young Warriors were able to win their final three games to earn the unexpected playoff bid. Quarterback Ethan Mullins and running back C.J. Crabtree provided the points for Wise Central. Mullins scored on a 22-yard run with 1:40 left in the third quarter, while Crabtree scored on a five yard carry with 7:24 remaining.
Crabtree surpassed the 1,000-yard mark on the campaign with a 114-yard rushing effort for the Warriors while Mullins finished with 66 yards on the ground. Sexton led the way for the Wolfpack with 158 yards on seven carries with four touchdowns. Adkins finished with 143 yards on 11 carries with two scores.
Next up for the Wolfpack is the Class 2D semifinal. The opponent is the Richlands Blue Tornado. The meeting is a highly anticipated contest between a program on the rise and beginning to show up on the radar in Ridgeview against a program who has already been to the mountaintop and is a mainstay in the high school football scene in the commonwealth in Richlands. Game time is set for Saturday, November 17 at 2 p.m. on the Ridge in Dickenson County.
I was born a Haysi Tiger but unfortunately succumbed to a broken heart on a cold rainy afternoon in King William, Virginia on December 6, 2014.
However, I was reincarnated as a Wolf, and became a runner of the Ridgeview Wolfpack on August 28, 2015. You now hear me howling most autumn Friday nights high atop Rose Ridge in Dickenson County or anywhere else my Pack of hungry Wolves may be, from Grundy to Falcon Hill or from Ben Hur to Pikeville, Kentucky.
I never wolfed down (pun very intended) a Tiger Taco like Mr. Brady Hess, but I was and still am known to devour a pizza from Pizza Factory on Main Street in Haysi.
I have always wanted to write about sports and now I have the opportunity to thanks to those who have built this wonderful place on the world wide web. Hope y’all enjoy.