WEST UNION, W.Va. – Two longtime, fierce rivals will battle on the gridiron in West Union Friday night as the rivalry between Doddridge County and Ritchie County is renewed.
This rivalry dates back to 1986, and if you include old Pennsboro High School, it goes all the way back to 1920!
These two teams know each other well, and if you haven’t seen or heard about either team yet this season, both are really, really good once again.
Doddridge County enters Friday night’s contest ranked in a tie for third place in the Single-A rankings. Ritchie County is in sole possession of fifth place in the class.
But it’s been since 2013 that the Rebels last beat the Bulldogs.
“I’m looking forward to it. We always look forward to playing them. It’s a good rivalry. Right up the road from us,” said Ritchie County senior wideout Gus Morrison. “I guess everyone here hasn’t beat them in high school. We’ve lost to them the last three years, ever since I was a freshman, so it’d be a big accomplishment to beat them this year.”
So the question is: how do they end that streak?
“Our outside guys, we’re all going to have to come together and block, and then we’re going to have to make tackles on defense. We can’t just hit them and stand up, we’re going to have to take them down to the ground,” said Morrison.
One of the interesting things about this year’s matchup is that Ritchie County is coming off a statement win over St. Marys last week, while Doddridge County hasn’t played since Week 2.
It’s been nothing but practice over the past two weeks for the Bulldogs, who have been trying to stay sharp, while their biggest opponent and rival has played against real competition.
“Well it’s been like a normal game week. Every Friday we did an inter-squad scrimmage. Basically the same thing as a game, keep our conditioning up,” said Doddridge County senior running back Dylan Knight.
The Bulldogs will certainly enter this game well rested, but they will also get ready with the knowledge of having won this rivalry game each of the past seven meetings.
“Well we got to play our hearts out. They’re always a good team. We always have a good game with them, so it’s always a battle,” said Knight. “It’s exciting. None of us are nervous. We know what it takes. We just got to play; play like we do.”