Wolfpack hold off Trojans, 24-7

The Ridgeview Wolfpack were on top of the world heading into this past Friday night’s Mountain 7 district game with the John Battle Trojans.  The Trojans were looking for a place to belong in the Region 2D playoff hunt.  After 36 minutes of football, it was a deadlock on who would come out of Friday night’s contest as the superior team.  The Wolfpack took command in the fourth quarter and rattled off 17 unanswered points, taking a 24-7 win to keep their perfect record intact.

Early on, it looked like the Wolfpack would continue their dominance atop the Mountain 7. On the Trojans first possession, Alijah Sproles was able to get to quarterback Micah Whitt and sack the junior signal caller on consecutive plays.  As the first quarter commenced, however, the Trojans became very poised on both sides of the ball.  Sophomore sensation Trenton Adkins was stymied by the bigger Trojan defensive line.  The Trojans took their second possession all the way down to the Ridgeview 23-yard line, however kicker Jayden Farley missed a 40-yard field goal attempt.  At the end of one quarter, the contest was scoreless.

As the Trojans continued to control the game with stops on Adkins and pressuring quarterback Tyler O’Quin into errant passes, a pin drop could be heard from the silence at Wolfpack Stadium.  The Trojans continued to move the ball and control the clock against the Pack.  With under a minute to go in the first half, the Trojans were faced with fourth down and two from the Wolfpack 29-yard line.  Instead of going for the first down, the Trojans decided to try a long field goal from 46 yards away.  Once again Farley was off, as the kick had the distance but was wide left.  At the half, the Ridge faithful were stunned as the scoreboard read 0-0.

The Pack received the kickoff to begin the third quarter and it didn’t take long to show the feisty Trojans what Wolfpack Nation has become accustomed to seeing on Friday nights.  Behind the legs and power of Adkins, the Wolfpack quickly got on the board in the second half on a four yard carry by the sophomore.  With 9:29 left in the third, the scoreless deadlock had finally been broken in favor of the Pack at 7-0.  On the ensuing Trojan possession, the Wolfpack defense stepped up to the plate as Gabe Counts picked off Whitt.  The interception was a rejuvenation moment for the senior in his first game back after breaking his hand in a win over Grundy in week one.  “It felt like I was back at home,” said a happy Counts.  “Nothing else in this world compares to being on the field with my brothers. I was just so glad that I was given the opportunity to get back on the field!”

The Trojans answered with a pick of their own, intercepting O’Quin.  The Trojans began to mount a serious threat as the third quarter wound down, getting into the red zone as the quarter ended.  On the first play of the fourth, senior back Juddy Shaffer broke off the left tackle and raced 14 yards into the end zone.  After converting the extra point, the few Trojan faithful who made the long trek from Bristol to Dickenson County were on their feet.  With 11:55 remaining in regulation, the Trojans and Pack were dead even at 7-7.  The Trojans would commit a very questionable call on the ensuing kickoff, opting to try an onside kick to fool the favorites.  However, Carson Sykes nullified the puzzling strategy by recovering the kick.  A little over three minutes later the Pack’s reliable kicker, Joe Meggison, made a 33-yard field goal to put the Pack ahead to stay at 10-7.

Trenton Adkins vaults into the end zone with style against John Battle Friday night (photo by Tonya Grant)

The Trojans could not muster any offense on the ensuing possession and were forced to punt.  With 4:02 remaining in the contest, O’Quin found Adkins on a 22-yard screen pass and Adkins raced to the house to salt the game away for the Pack at 17-7.  On the next Trojan possession, Quinn Turner made a sensational interception grab.  Matthew Sexton would put an emphatic exclamation point on the contest scoring from 23 yards away.  As the final seconds were extinguished, the Wolfpack prevailed 24-7 in a contest much closer than the final score indicated.

Quinn Turner nabs the interception Friday night against John Battle (photo by Tonya Grant)

Leading the way statistically for Ridgeview was Trenton Adkins who had 137 yards on the ground on 24 carries with one score as well as a 22-yard TD reception.  Matthew Sexton also had a whale of a game statistically  with 136 yards on the ground on 11 carries with one score as well as an eight yard reception.  Tyler O’Quin passed for 45 yards on 4-of-11 through the air with a touchdown and two interceptions.

The Wolfpack can clinch the Mountain 7 district championship outright this Friday with a win over the Abingdon Falcons on Falcon Hill.  The Trojans will head to Legion Field in Gate City on Friday to face the Gate City Blue Devils.


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