Fast-forward to 2018. Mullins’ Ridgeview team has a great defense.
It might be too early to compare the two teams. But Friday, even Mullins knew the Wolfpack’s 27-14 win over the Union Bears was a giant step for his team.
“It’s a big win. It really was,” Mullins said. “Just to get over that hump. I said back in the summer until someone knocks Union off, they’re the king and I felt that way. I don’t want to say we’re the king right now, but this certainly is a big win for us.”
The win put Ridgeview (4-0, 2-0) atop the Mountain 7 District standings along with Class 3A Abingdon. It also ended a regular-season, 21-game winning streak for Union (3-1, 0-1).
With the streak over, and falling behind in the district standings for the first time in two years, Union coach Travis Turner said it’s back to the drawing board for the Bears.
“It’s a chance to kind of find out what we’re made of. Our backs are against the wall now,” said Turner.
Ridgeview’s defense played big, giving up only 158 total yards.
“I thought defensively we had a heck of a game. I thought (defensive coordinator Dewayne) Stanley and the defensive coaches did great. With the hours they put into it, we knew what we had to do to win. I thought our defense stepped up and played huge. I’m really proud of our defense.”
The Ridgeview offense was not too shabby either.
Sophomore sensation Trenton Adkins racked up 118 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, while senior Matthew Sexton added 93 yards on eight carries, including a 29-yard fourth-quarter touchdown that sealed the win for the Wolfpack.
“Trenton is a load and he’s got good vision, and then Matt Sexton can hit a seam and go. It’s kind of a dangerous one-two punch and I thought those guys did a nice job. I think our offensive line was able to open some holes and we were able to control the ball some,” said Mullins.
Most of Ridgeview’s offensive punch came in the second half. In the first half, the Wolfpack was too busy correcting mistakes.
Ridgeview turned the ball over on its first two possessions, which led to Union’s first score of the game.
After recovering a fumble in Ridgeview territory, the Bears punched the ball in on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Bailey Turner to Noah Garrison with 4:10 to play in the first quarter.
Ridgeview battled back in the second quarter.
A 14-play, 67-yard drive that ate up close to seven minutes of the second quarter resulted in the first score for the Wolfpack.
On first-and-goal at the Union 3, Adkins fumbled the ball, but Timmy Hess fell on it in the end zone for the Ridgeview score.
The Wolfpack went up 14-7 with just :08 left in the opening half when quarterback Tyler O’Quinn connected with Quinn Turner for a 10-yard strike across the middle.
EATING THE CLOCK
The Wolfpack used another time-consuming drive to start the second half.
Ridgeview marched 80 yards in 12 plays to score on a 1-yard run from Adkins to go ahead 21-7 with 5:43 left in the third quarter.
MAKING IT CLOSE
Another turnover led to a short field for Union and to its only other score.
After Garrison intercepted a pass for the Bears, Union used four plays to move 6 yards and score on a 1-yard run from Avery Jenkins.
Ridgeview responded on the next drive and capped off a 75-yard drive with Sexton’s 29-yard run.