The Ridge View football team is building for the future. Westwood is building for December.
The youthful Blazers were outmanned Friday night against the Redhawks, who remained unbeaten after a 49-18 shellacking of their Region 4-4A rivals. And, while the two schools continue to diverge into separate paths, their grand plans each remain steadfast.
Ridge View (2-6, 0-2), while not ready to give up on playoff hopes, can’t help but have an eye toward next season. The Blazers started a recently recalled junior varsity quarterback to handle the reins of the offense, while placing a freshman tailback alongside him. Westwood (8-0, 2-0), meanwhile, is looking toward an upcoming three-game gauntlet that will play a critical role in postseason positioning.
“We could lose the next three and, possibly, not make the playoffs,” Redhawks coach Rodney Summers said. “You’ve got to get better each week. The way our schedule unfolds, our competition gets better every week.”
Blythewood, Dutch Fork and Spring Valley await the No. 7 Redhawks. The four schools will battle for three spots in the Class 4A playoffs.
But Westwood remains confident. A steadily improving team can have that effect.
“If you look at each game, we have cut down on turnovers, and the mistakes we made, we don’t make the next time,” quarterback Nick Leveretter said. “We make improvements every day.”
The Redhawks allowed Ridge View to score on its opening possession, but otherwise had their way. The Westwood defense held the Blazers to an average of less than one yard per carry, while the Redhawks’ offense finished with more than 330 yards on the ground.
They built a 42-6 halftime advantage, which included a nifty double-pass from Leveretter to fellow quarterback Jalen Smith, who found Adonus Lee for a 29-yard touchdown. They cruised from there, as most of the Westwood starters sat for the final two quarters.
The Blazers stuck with their starters the whole way. Sophomore quarterback Tre High was a JV starter three weeks ago, but was called up after Ridge View lost its season-opening starter, and a defensive end who was also taking snaps under center. He was joined by freshman tailback Tyler Mitchell, who finished with one yard on six carries.
“You can’t ask for a lot out of young guys,” coach Raymond Jennings said. “You’ve got to keep it simple, and that’s what we were trying to do.”
Jennings hasn’t lost faith. Ridge View faces winless Lugoff-Elgin next week before returning home to face Spring Valley and Blythewood. The playoffs remain real to the Blazers.
“All the other (region) teams are pretty much just like us,” he said. “They’re hunting for a place in the regoin, too.”
WW – Andrew Plante 9 run (Brandon Howard kick) 10:49
RV – Tyreek Wilson 7 catch from Tre High (Nick Goff kick failed) 7:23
WW – Plante 11 run (Howard kick) 4:15
WW – Plante 2 run (Howard kick) 7:08
WW – Richard Hall 10 punt block return (Howard kick) 5:32
WW – Adonus Lee 29 catch from Jalen Smith (Howard kick) 1:58
WW – John Trapp 13 run (Howard kick) 0:39
WW – Trapp 18 run (Howard kick) 8:06
RV – High 9 run (conversion failed) 4:33
RV – Damani Staley 45 fumble return (conversion failed) 0:47
WW – Andrew Plante 14-103, Rudy Mitchell 4-79, Nick Leveretter 7-46, John Trapp 5-44, Jalen Smith 7-34, Winslow Powell 5-25, Rashawn Green 3-4, Montre Miller 1-1. RV -- D’Monshae Chandler 9-24, Tyler Mitchell 9-1, Daruis Dantlzer 3-1, Tre High 8-(-1), Marcus Reaster-Glover 2-(-3).
WW – Nick Leveretter 5-8-0-91, Jalen Smith 1-1-0-29. RV -- Tre High 13-21-2-106.
WW – Adonus Lee 4-96, Malik Griffin 2-24. RV -- Tyreek Wilson 7-55, Marcus Reaster-Glover 3-40, Daruis Dantzler 2-16, Nasir Player 1-(-5).