By GARY DOVE
for the Daily Telegraph
Wyoming East, tied for eighth place in this week’s Class AA state ratings, trailed River View 12-0 Saturday night, 4 1/2 minutes into the final quarter.
Then on a clear, beautiful fall evening, it appeared as if lightning struck, as the Warriors exploded for 14 unanswered points in the final 5:44 over the Homecoming-celebrating Raiders at the Ravine to take a 14-12 decision.
Related Warrior fifth year head coach Gary Poindexter, “They (Raiders) started out a lot better than we did. … In the second half, we made some adjustments and moved the ball better on offense. … Our defense kept us in the game.”
The aforementioned lightning came at the 7:28 mark of the fourth after the Raiders had worked for a 12-0 lead.
Facing a fourth-and-one from its own 19, River View head coach Gehrig Justice decided to let his offense try to pickup a first down.
On the fourth down, the Raiders were stopped short, giving East the pigskin inside River View’s 20.
Three consecutive Jacob Summe five yard bursts put the ball at the four, where Summe picked up three and then fullback Coty Bishop bulled in from the one to cut the deficit to 12-7, following Tristan Jones’ conversion kick.
Another bolt of lightning struck at the end of River View’s ensuing possession that ended in a punt that Jacob Dulcie returned to the Raider 44.
On the third play of the five snap series, Bishop dragged defenders on a 19 yard ramble that carried to the Raider 15.
Two plays later, quarterback Aaron Griffith hit senior wide receiver Christian Hedinger in the back of the endzone for a 15 yard score that would be the game-winner. Jones kicked the PAT for good measure and the 14-12 win.
Of the fourth down losing gamble, Justice related, “I had already pretty much decided (to go for it), but we called a time out and I called the kids over and asked them. They all wanted to go for it. … If I had it to do over tonight, I probably wouldn’t, but tomorrow I probably would. That’s just my nature.”
The Raiders thrilled their Homecoming crowd with a 23 yard Ryan Blankenship pass to Tyree Baker on the second play of the second period, capping an eight play, 61 yard drive.
An insurance score came 47 seconds into the fourth quarter when junior Jordan Wilson took a pitchout 9 yards around right end for a 12-0 lead.
Continued Coach Justice, “Our defense made a great effort.”
Wyoming East, averaging 34 points per game coming into last night’s game, was held to 14 points and 188 total yards by the Raider defense.
Wilson led the Raider offense, running 30 times for 168 yards and scoring the final touchdown.
East moves to 5-1 with the win and plays PikeView at home next Friday, while the Raiders are now 3-2 and will entertain Bluefield, also Friday night.
At River View High School
Wyoming East...........0 0 0 14 — 14
River View.................0 6 0 6 — 12
RV: Tyree Baker 23 yd pass from Ryan Blankenship (PAT pass failed) 11:47
RV: Jordan Wilson 9 yd run (PAT pass failed) 11:13
WE: Coty Bishop 1 yd run (Tristan Jones PAT kick) 5:44
WE: Christian Hedinger 15 yd pass from Aaron Griffith (Jones PAT kick) 1:03
First Downs: WE 12; RV 15. Rush-Yards: WE 33-101; RV 52-219. Pass Yards: WE 87; RV 34. Comp-Att-Int: WE 9-12-1; RV 3-9-0. Fumbles-Lost: WE 1-1; RV 0-0. Penalty-Yards: WE 6-45; RV 3-15. Punts-Avg. WE 3-33.7; RV 2-28.0
RUSHING — WE: Jacob Summe 11-46, Coty Bishop 7-42. RV: Jordan Wilson 30-168
PASSING — WE: Aaron Griffith 9-12, 87 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int. RV: Ryan Blankenship 3-9, 34 yds, 1 TD, 0 Int
RECEIVING — WE: Christian Hedinger 5-64, Jacob Dulcie 2-13, Nik Walker 2-10. RV: Tyree Baker 2-29, Dee Duff 1-5.