Updated Thu, Oct 31, 2013 7:35 pm
Class A’s fourth-ranked Williamstown Yellow Jackets (7-1) return home for the first time in over a month Friday to take on the Class AA No. 12 Ritchie County Rebels (5-3).
The Yellow Jackets, led by Gridiron Glory Player of the Year semifinalist Jake Tracewell, will look to continue their three-game win streak as they head into the final two weeks of the regular season. Williamstown pulled out a close win against Parkersburg Catholic a week ago 16-13. After being on the road for so long, head coach Terry Smith said the Yellow Jackets cannot get complacent and easy up.
“We have to remind everybody what they have to do everyday and what their responsibilities are,” Smith said.
Though they play in different classifications, Williamstown and Ritchie County do share common opponents: Class A Tyler Consolidated and St. Marys and Class AA Ravenswood and Roane County. Williamstown is a combined 2-1 against those teams, with its only loss to St. Mary’s. The Yellow Jackets play Roane County a week from Friday. Ritchie County is a combined 1-3 against common teams, with its only win coming against Roane County.
“Ritchie County always plays us tough,” Smith said. “We only led by 3 going into half last year.”
The Jackets went on to win that game 38-16.
Ritchie County will need to be aware of where Jake Tracewell is on the field at all times, as he accounts for 75 percent of the Yellow Jacket offense. The senior has a knack for making big plays on defense as well. The key to Friday’s game will be how much the Rebels can contain the Yellow Jackets’ playmaker throughout the game.
On the Williamstown side of the field, the Jackets will focus on getting off to a good start. Williamstown has had a tendency to start slowly this season.
Ritchie County looks to steal a win in Williamstown – something no team has accomplished yet this season. With the Rebels’ playoff hopes hanging in the balance West Virginia will be watching to see which team can start early and gain the momentum heading into the post season.