Next Mount View review of Ritchie County | News, Sports, Jobs

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  Next Mount View review of Ritchie County |  News, Sports, Jobs

The process began in his first season, and ironically resulted in a first-round playoff loss to Mount View.

“When we played Mount View my first season as head coach, they were more of a power run type of team — they had great size and a big running back; they pretty much came right at you,” Haught said. “This year, their team spreads you out and tries to use space. They also have a couple of quick kids who run the jet sweep. It’s that kind of offense.”

“That first season and the playoff loss set the stage for the next year,” Haught said. “There now is a mentality where the kids are used to the fact they want to go deep into the playoffs.”

Under Haught, Ritchie County has progressed one step further in the playoffs than the previous season. Last year, the Rebels advanced to the semifinals before the COVID color map put an end to their dreams. The fourth-seeded Rebels (10-1) seek to avenge the 34-14 loss to Mount View in the opening round of the 2018 playoffs.

Story Highlights

  • ELLENBORO — Now in in his fourth season as head coach, no argument that Rick Haught has re-energized the Ritchie County football program.

  • The fifth-seeded Golden Knights (8-3) just happen to be Ritchie County’s opponent for Saturday’s quarterfinal playoff game. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. at Chuck Schofield Memorial Stadium.

During last week’s first round game at home against Clay-Battelle, the Rebels made an ideal start stand up for a 46-14 victory. With one minute still remaining in the first quarter, Ritchie County surged ahead 24-0.

For the Rebels, Gus Morrison rushed for 164 yards and scored three touchdowns, while Brandon Riddle contributed 82 yards on the ground. Ritchie County quarterback Ethan Haught finished with 49 yards rushing and scored two TDs.

“It was really nice to get on Clay-Battelle early,” Haught said. “I was pleased with the defensive effort. They carried out what we asked them to do. They did a good job watching film and seeing what would work for us. I also was pleased with the ground game getting more than 300 yards.” Mount View qualified for the postseason for only the second time since 2006. In the first round, the Golden Knights had their hands full in an 18-6 win over Sherman.

With the game tied at 6 in the fourth quarter, Mount View’s Tony Bailey turned the game completely around in the Golden Knights’ favor after scoring a pair of touchdowns in the span of 18 seconds. Bailey caught a 58-yard TD pass from Ryan Long with 3:14 remaining in regulation, and on the ensuing possession he stripped the ball from a Sherman receiver then raced 51 yards for the takeaway touchdown. Travis Bell led Mount View with 90 yards rushing, while Long completed 13-of-24 passes for 154 yards.

In a game marred by penalties (a combined 18 for 180 yards), a total of three players — including two from Mount View — were ejected following a scuffle late in the fourth quarter. Ritchie County is one of five Little Kanawha Conference members (Gilmer County, Doddridge County and Williamstown in Class A, along with Roane County in Class AA) which gave the league a perfect showing in the state playoffs’ opening round last week.

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“I’ve spent my whole career in the LKC. It’s a great conference. I really appreciate the people I’ve gotten to know in the conference. There are great people and great coaches in a lot of different sports.” “That’s quite a feat,” Haught said. “And in this conference, it’s not just about one sport. You look at last weekend when Williamstown and Ritchie County playing for Class A volleyball championship. Gilmer County was also at state.