Wolfpack, Warriors set for annual rivalry showdown

Ridgeview Wolfpack (2-0)


Wise Central Warriors (1-0)

When:  Friday, September 7 at 7:00 p.m.

Where:  The Ridge, Rose Ridge, Va.

Series all time:  Wise Central leads 2-1 (Last meeting Ridgeview defeated Wise Central 35-12 on September 8, 2017 in Norton, Va.)

The Ridgeview Wolfpack take the field against Grundy (August 24, 2018 by Tonya Sterling Grant)

Since the inception of Ridgeview High School, one of the most looked forward to games on any of the Pack’s schedule is with Wise Central.  The bar was set from day one with an intense rivalry between the girl’s basketball programs.  That intensity has carried over to the gridiron with spirited contests filled with emotion and hard hitting, bone-crunching football.

The first two years of the rivalry saw the Warriors defeat the Pack behind the arm and legs of quarterback Dalton Mullins.  Last season, the Pack finally broke through behind a breakout performance from freshman phenom Trenton Adkins.  Mullins has since graduated and is on the football team at Carson Newman.

Junior Isaiah McAmis now calls the shots for the Warriors offense.  McAmis had a stellar showing in week one, a 41-27 victory over Eastside, in which he threw for 149 yards and two scores.  McAmis can also utilize his legs as he also rushed for a touchdown against the Spartans.  Other players to watch for are sophomore wide receiver Ben Brickey (4 catches, 96 yards, 2 TDs against Eastside) and sophomore running back C. J. Crabtree (84 yards, 1 TD).

The Warriors are coming off a bye week in week two and coach Luke Owens has had ample time to prepare for the high powered offense of the Wolfpack.  On Rose Ridge, the dynamic duo of running backs Matthew Sexton and Trenton Adkins continue to roll up yardage and score touchdowns.  Sexton has seven scores on the young season while Adkins has four of his own.  McKenzie Sproles has been the wild card in the offense so far for the Wolfpack, whether it be lining up at the slot, taking a handoff or slinging passes.

On defense, the Pack has been extraordinary.  Alijah Sproles has been laying the lumber, delivering monster hits from the middle linebacker spot.  Jacob Hensley has been the shutdown corner, making sure no passes reach opposing receivers.  The key for the Warriors will be if McAmis has time to find Brickey and his corps of receivers.  The Pack has consistently brought pressure and busted through the opposing offensive line to pressure the quarterback into making errant throws.

For the Pack, will Adkins and Sexton continue their relentless onslaught on the Warriors defense?  With Union and their stellar ground defense looming on the Wolfpack schedule, will the Pack unleash an aerial assault on the Warriors in preparation?

Those questions and more will be answered for both squads in this hotly contested rivalry Friday night on the Ridge.

My prediction:  Wolfpack 41, Warriors 14


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