The top-seeded Wolfpack got 100-yard-plus rushing games from senior Matthew Sexton and sophomore Trenton Adkins and a defensive effort that created five turnovers to take a 49-14 win over Wise Central in the Region 2D quarterfinals.
Ridgeview (10-1) advanced to a regional semifinal meeting at home against Richlands (7-4) next weekend. The Blue Tornado defeated Grayson County 10-0 on Friday in a regional quarterfinal game at Independence.
TAKING CONTROL EARLY
Ridgeview (10-1), the heavy favorite on Friday, entered the contest with a plan to set the tone early. The Wolfpack executed the plan to near perfection.
Ridgeview scored on its first six possessions behind the running of Sexton, who finished with 158 yards and four touchdowns on seven carries, and Adkins, who racked up 137 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
“We started the game, which was what we talked about all week, being focused and getting off to a good start and playing our ballgame. And I felt like we did that,” said Ridgeview coach Rick Mullins. “We came out early and set the tone and that’s what we wanted to do.”
Neither Sexton nor Adkins played in the second half after Ridgeview built a 42-0 advantage at the break.
Adkins scored on the Wolfpack’s first drive with a 42-yard touchdown run. Sexton followed by capping off Ridgeview’s next four drives with TD runs of 24, 87, 22 and 8 yards.
“Setting the tone early was the biggest part of it,” Sexton said. “Coming out for this game coach told us be 1-0 and not to worry about the regular season.
“It all starts with the offensive line,” he added. “We worked hard during the week practicing and trying to get the perfect plays. When it comes to game time, we play like we practiced and I guess we practiced pretty darn good.”
On the Wolfpack’s sixth drive, Adkins finished off a seven-play, 64-yard scoring drive with a 2-yard touchdown run that staked Ridgeview to that 42-0 halftime lead.
The running game was not the only big part of Ridgeview’s success.
After falling behind 14-0, Central (4-7) threatened to score halfway through the first half. The Warriors moved the ball to the Ridgeview 12-yard line before a fumble ended the threat.
Central’s next three possessions ended on interceptions by Ridgeview.
Then after moving the ball to the Ridgeview 40 on its final possession of the first half, Central fumbled away the ball again and Ridgeview ran the clock into the intermission.
In the third quarter, with several substitutes seeing plenty of playing time, Central scored twice.
The Warriors’ first touchdown came on a 22-yard run from Ethan Mullins. They added a score a minute into the fourth quarter on a 5-yard TD run by C.J. Crabtree.
The final score of the game came with 7:17 remaining when Ridgeview reserve quarterback Nick Phillips took it in from 8 yards out.