WILLIAMSTOWN -Ritchie County live or Ritchie County on tape. It's all the same as far as Williamstown football coach Terry Smith is concerned.
With last week's game against Gilmer County being a forfeit, that gave the Williamstown coaching staff an opportunity to scout area games. Smith opted for Ellenboro to catch the Rebels from Ritchie County hand Tyler Consolidated its eighth consecutive loss to start the season.
What he witnessed was very similar to the tape version from the previous week against Doddridge County.
"Everything looked about the same," Smith said. "I was impressed with their running backs and their blocking. There wasn't much difference between the Doddridge and Tyler Consolidated games."
Ritchie County (6-2) pays a visit to Williamstown High School Friday night. Heading into last week, the Rebels were ranked 14th in Class AA and needing at least one win to secure a playoff berth. Two wins to end the season could assure them a top 8 seed and a home game for the first round of the playoffs.
"We have to win at least one game to make it into the playoffs and we can't count on anybody else," Ritchie County first-year coach Mike Dawson said. "We hold our own fate. If we don't find a way to do it, we don't deserve to be in."
But first things first. Williamstown is 8-0 and ranked third in Class A.
"Williamstown knows what it wants to do, and does it well," Dawson said.
The Yellowjackets' success begins with the boys in the trenches. But it doesn't hurt having a pair of running backs like Trey King and Zach Zide, and a quarterback like Jake Tracewell who is growing into the position as just a sophomore.
King leads the team with 954 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns, while Zide has contributed 463 yards on the ground with four TDs. Tracewell has completed 55 percent of his passes (32 of 58) for 526 yards and six TDs.
"There is no question Williamstown runs a nice pro-I and they remind me a little of what we are trying to do," Dawson said. "We try to run the 'I' and throw in the three-back stuff to cover up missed blocks or overloaded formations."
Ritchie also takes advantage of the ability of their two running backs - Reno Jackson and Darrenger Goff. Jackson ranks fourth in the Mid-Ohio Valley with 1,103 yards rushing to go with 15 TDs. Goff's versatility is reflected in his 542 yards rushing and 112 yards receiving.
Rebels quarterback Alex Lipscomb and receiver Ryder Bolin have hooked up 10 times for 190 yards and a pair of TDs.
"When I watched them on Friday night, their two running backs ran the ball real well," Smith said. "I'm sure we have to slow that down first."
Williamstown will be without the services of defensive back Trevor Anderson, who injured his ACL early in the game against Wirt County two weeks ago. Beau Wasmer and Tracewell will fill in as his replacement.