RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. — A very hot and humid evening got even worse as a veteran Ravenswood Red Devil eleven scored the final 27 points of the contest to hand visiting Wahama a 27-6 gridiron setback Friday evening in the season opener for both teams. Ravenswood, with 10 seniors adorning the starting lineup, bounced back from an early 6-0 deficit with one score in every quarter in securing the three touchdown triumph.
The White Falcons drove into scoring position on three addition occasions during the encounter but failed to reach the end zone which resulted in the setback. The White Falcons managed just 123 yards on the ground and another 91 through the airways for a net total offense of 214 total yards on the night. The Bend Area defense however gave up 221 yards rushing and allowed the Red Devils to connect on nine of 10 pass attempts for 153 yards for 374 total yards.
Wahama got on the board in the opening quarter after Kaileb Sheets recovered a Ravenswood fumble at the Red Devil 35 yard line. Following a pair of runs covering 19 and nine yards by Demitrius Serevicz it was Sheets who got the call and rolled around the left side and into the end zone for the first score of the game. The point after kick was blocked leaving Wahama with a 6-0 edge with 7:50 remaining in the opening quarter.
Ravenswood wasted little time in negating the early Falcon score with the Jackson County crew taking the ensuing kickoff and going 65 yards in 12 plays. Rhys Jelich was the Red Devils workhorse during the drive with nine rushing attempts and two pass completions. Jelich’s seven yard touchdown pass to Thomas Strum at the 3:09 mark of the opening period evened the count with Jelich pushing Ravenswood ahead at 8-6 with the two-point conversion run.
The Red Devils increased their lead to 15-6 on its next series when the host team drove 70 yards in six plays. Once again Jelich was the host’s go-to guy with Jelich tossing a 25 yard pass to Isaac Crow before racing 32 yards for the touchdown. Ryan Cunningham booted the PAT to stake Ravenswood to a 15-6 advantage with 10:19 remaining in the half.
A 53 yard run by Serevicz set Wahama up in great field position late in the second quarter but a costly penalty kept the Bend Area team from closing the gap and the half ended with Ravenswood holding a 15-6 edge.
The second half proved to be a defensive struggle for the most part by both teams. The Red Devils received a huge break midway through the third stanza when a blocked punt was picked up by Hayden Mandrake and returned 46 yards for a score. The point after pass was unsuccessful as the Red Devils were able to lengthen its lead to 21-6.
The final score of the night came in the final canto when Jelich broke free on a 58 yard run to set up the Jackson County team’s fourth straight unanswered touchdown. Ben Johnson capped the drive with a one yard plunge with 6:45 left in the game and the PAT kick was short leaving Ravenswood with a 27-6 lead.
Wahama would threaten in the final seconds of the game when Sheets tossed a 34 yard pass to Jared Nutter but time ran out with Wahama on the Red Devil four yard line.
Serevicz paced the Falcons offensively with 130 yards on the ground in 15 carries while Sheets completed four of eight passes on the night for 91 yards. Nutter caught three aerials for 62 yards with Garrett Miller grabbing one for 29 yards.
Jelich was the man of the hour for the Red Devils with 181 yards rushing in 31 carries in addition to completing nine of ten passes for 142 yards. Crow owned four receptions for 77 yards while Johnson caught three aerials for 59 yards.
Wahama will hit the road again next Friday evening when the White Falcons open Tri-Valley Conference play at Waterford. Ravenswood will try and make it two in a row when it travels to Webster County.