RAVENSWOOD-Class AA No. 16 Ravenswood warmed up for its annual Battle for the Hatchet against Jackson County rival Ripley with a 48-12 victory over Little Kanawha Conference rival Clay County.Senior Ross Ritchie led the way for the now 5-4 Red Devils with a game-high 151 yards rushing on 12 carries.
The 5-foot-10, 145-pounder scored three of the hosts' seven touchdowns on runs of 77 and 9 yards and on a 27-yard pass from senior quarterback Jarrod Varney.
Ravenswood needed less than five minutes to light up the scoreboard when junior Thomas Nay rushed over from 17 yards out to culminate a three-play, 22 yard drive set up when senior James Kennedy blocked a Panther punt.
Those would be the only points of the first 12 minutes, but only a taste of what would lie ahead for the Panthers, now 2-6.
The second quarter witnessed a pair of scores by the Red Devils-a 42-yard interception return by Justin Mahan and a 77-yard sprint by Ritchie, who also connected on all six of his PATs to finish with 24 points on the evening.
Matters got worse for the visitors in the third quarter as Ravenswood doubled-up their first half point production.
Ritchie got things rolling with a 9-yard plunge at the 9:06 mark to finish out a six-play, 28-yard drive set up by a William Workman fumble recovery with 11:12 showing on the clock.
It would be one of four fumbles lost by the Panthers on the night-Clay also had two passes picked off to finish with six costly turnovers on the game. A pass interception by Mahan-his second on the night-on the Panthers very next offensive play set up a seven-play, 66-yard drive culminated with a missed 38-yard field goal by Ritchie.
But, two minutes later the Red Devils were back at it again as Varney slipped past the Clay defenders for a 35-yard touchdown.
The senior signal caller would close out the 12 minute quarter by hooking up with Ritchie from 27-yards out with just six second left in the frame to give the Senior Night crowd plenty to cheer about, 42-0.
Clay, which hosts Webster County next Friday, got on the scoreboard twice in the final quarter when junior Mike Kearns, who finished with 116 yards on 18 carries, scored on runs of 8 and 9 yards.
Ravenswood would also score in the final quarter when sophomore Ross Corbin rambled in from 3 yards out.
In addition to his 35-yard touchdown run, Varney completed 9 of his 12 passes for 107 yards and one touchdown.
Clay also got 75-yards on 10 carries from Justin Mahan and 107 yards passing.