2017-11-01 / Sports

Tribe rolls by Ritchie County for fifth win of the season

by Jamie Harris

Ty'Jae Armstrong, 44 and Nathan Mason, 25 make the tackle for the Indians with Michael Hovermale, 33 ready to help. photos by Anita Kesner Ty'Jae Armstrong, 44 and Nathan Mason, 25 make the tackle for the Indians with Michael Hovermale, 33 ready to help. photos by Anita Kesner The Ritchie County Rebels made the three hour trek to Morgan County to take on the red hot Berkeley Springs Indians in high school football action. The Tribe came into the contest on a three game winning streak and looking to add their fifth win of the season. The game was over by the end of the first quarter as the Tribe ripped off 34 unanswered points. By the end of the game the Rebels had to endure another long ride as the Indians sent them packing with a 57-15 win.

Berkeley Springs senior CJ Ryan fielded the opening kickoff at his own 30 yard line and found a seam and sprinted to the Rebels 44 yard line. With excellent field position the Tribe offense took over.

On the first play from scrimmage senior quarterback Tobin Whittington took off for an apparent 44 yard touchdown run for the Tribe. However a penalty against the Indians brought the ball back to midfield. After backto back running plays by Michael Hovermale and Trentin Ratcliff gave the Indians a third and 11 situation the Indians decided to air the ball out. A pass interference penalty against the Rebels gave the Tribe a new set of downs at the Rebel 35 yard line. From there a 10 yard run by Whittington and a five yard run by Hovermale moved the ball to the Rebel 25. Hovermale would pick up five more yards on a third down run to give Berkeley Springs a first down at the Ritchie 15 yard line. After an incompletion Whittington found Ryan on a 15 yard touchdown pass for the score. Remington Hiles was successful on the extra point attempt and the Indians led 7-0.

RJ McCoy tackles a Ritchie County player in last Friday night’s game. RJ McCoy tackles a Ritchie County player in last Friday night’s game. Ritchie County could not muster much offense on their first possession and was forced to punt. Maybe they didn’t realize punting to Ryan would be a mistake as the senior speedster made the Rebels special teams pay with an impressive 61 yard punt return for a touchdown. Hiles was accurate on the extra point attempt and just like that the Indians were in control 14-0.

Ritchie County was able to start moving the ball on the Indian defense getting the ball up to the Tribe 35 yard line. However on the ensuing play the Rebel quarterback rolled left and senior linebacker Matt Cowles delivered a hit that popped the ball loose and right back into his hands. From there Cowles rumbled 63 yards untouched for another Indian touchdown. Ritchie County was able to block the extra point, but still with six minutes left in the first quarter the Tribe was up 20-0.

The next Rebel offensive possession was a bust as Whittington picked off a pass and returned it for a touchdown. However the score was brought back on a block in the back on the Indians.

From there the Tribe offense went to work again as Whittington this time hit Ty’- Jae Armstrong with a 37 yard pass completion. Hovermale then carried the ball for a short gain, but the Rebels had a late hit out of bounds that tacked on 15 more yards to Hovermale’s run. Whittington then hit senior receiver Josh Hartman on a bubble screen and Hartman took the ball down to the Rebel one yard line. On the next play Whittington dove in from one yard out for another Indian touchdown. Hiles split the uprights on the kick and the Tribe was up 27-0.

After the Tribe forced another Ritchie County punt to give the Indians the ball at the Rebel 48 yard line the offense struck again. This time Whittington hit Armstrong in stride on a fly route for a 48 yard touchdown pass. Hiles was successful once again on the extra point and with 42 seconds left in the first quarter the Indians led 34-0.

Ritchie County found the end zone right before the end of the quarter as Armstrong had deflected a pass that bounced right back in to the Rebel receivers hand. From there the receiver sprinted in for a score. The extra point attempt was good, but the Tribe was in command with a 34-7 lead.

The Tribe did not let the Rebels score derail their momentum. The Tribe drove the ball down the field once more as the drive was capped off by a touchdown run by senior Ratcliff. Hiles extra point attempt was no good, but the Tribe led 40-7.

Ritchie County moved the ball down the field and eventually the Tribe defense forced a field goal attempt. The Rebel kick was wide left and the Indians took over on the miss.

The Indians ran several plays, but the quarter ended and the Tribe headed to the locker room with a commanding lead.

The second half saw the Rebels receive the opening kickoff. From there their offense sputtered as the wrecking crew defense of the Indians forced another punt.

The Tribe took over at their own 34 yard line. On their first possession of the third quarter quarterback Whittington took the snap rolled left and sprinted past the Rebel defense for a 66 yard touchdown run. Hiles was good on the extra point and the Tribe led 47-7.

The Indian defense once again stop the Rebel offense and force a Rebel punt. The Indian offense then went back to work this time behind the running of Hovermale. The senior back busted several big runs to put the Tribe back into Rebel territory. On a first and 20 from the Rebel 48 yard line freshman Peyton Thompson showed his speed as he took the sweep toss and sprinted untouched in for his second career varsity touchdown. Hiles split the uprights and the Tribe was up 54-7.

Berkeley Springs got the ball back again and drove down the field only to stall out. This time the Indians sent out Hiles for a field goal attempt. Hiles was good from 31 yards out to give Berkeley Springs a 57-7 lead.

Ritchie County scored later in the game and hit the two point conversion to make the final score 57-15.

Offensively Berkeley Springs was led by Whittington (5/8 passing, 110 yards, two touchdowns, six carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns). Thompson (nine carries for 73 yards, one touchdown), Hovermale (nine carries, 47 yards), Ratcliff (four carries, 46 yards, and one touchdown). The receivers were led by Armstrong (two receptions for 76 yards, one touchdown), Ryan (two receptions for 24 yards, 1 touchdown), Hartman (one reception for 14 yards), RJ McCoy (one reception for six yards) and Larry Miller (one reception for 13 yards).

Ryan led the Indians with a punt return for a touchdown on special teams.

Defensively the Indians were led by Cowles who had 10 tackles and a forced fumble return for a touchdown. Noah Kelly (five tackles), Michael Hinkle, Mason Sipes, Hovermale, Thompson, Nathan Mason, and Kael Mills each had four tackles. Patrick Raymond, Ratcliff and Luke Spielman had three tackles. Whittington had an interception.

With the win the Indians improved to 5-4 and a huge Battle of the Potomac River looming this coming Friday night November 3 with the Hancock Panthers.

With the win the Tribe would put the finishing touches on their first winning season since 2007. Kick off will be 7 p.m. at Morgan Field. Berkeley Springs will honor the senior athletes and band members at 6:30 p.m.

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