In the end, Ravenswood was represented by six players – Chad Burrows, Brandon Cunningham, Dustin DeRito, Kyle Griffith, Jeremy Lawrence and Tyler Newell – in the 19th annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis West Virginia-Ohio All-Star Football Classic.
But even the presence of that many Red Devil standouts, who enjoyed their fair share of success both from a team standpoint and individually during their high school careers, couldn’t help an undermanned West Virginia team give the Ohio squad much of a game last Friday at Marietta’s historic Don Drumm Stadium.
Ohio ended a two-game losing streak in the Classic with a convincing 48-0 victory. The 48 points set an all-time BACF scoring record by one team and the margin of victory tied another mark.
West Virginia still leads the overall series, 12-7, but a lack of players really handcuffed the Mountain State coaching staff, headed by Ritchie County’s Mike Dawson, during the week of practices leading up to the contest. When Dawson gathered his team for the first time, only 20 players (each roster can consist of 40) showed up. The West Virginia team ended up having 24 players.
Ohio scored 14 points in the first quarter and never looked back. The Ohioans had a 20-0 advantage at halftime. The Buckeye State team also scored 14 points in each of the final two quarters of play.
Lawrence, who is preparing this week at West Virginia State University in Institute for Saturday’s WCHS-TV/FOX 11 North-South All-Star Football Classic (as a member of the North), rushed for 20 yards on 11 carries. He also played defensive back and was on special teams.
DeRito played a lot at quarterback for the West Virginia team but had a rugged evening by going 0-for-4 in the passing department with two interceptions. He carried the ball four times for two yards. He also played in the West Virginia secondary
Burrows, Griffith and Newell also saw plenty of action in the game, while Cunningham handled punting duties and kicked off.
“They had me everywhere,” said Burrows, who played nose guard, end and tackle on defense. He also played guard on offense.
Newell, who was a late addition to the West Virginia roster, played nose guard on defense. Griffith played end and guard on offense and linebacker on the prevent side.
While it was a rough night on the scoreboard, Burrows said the West Virginia players tried to look at things from a positive point of view. “It was rewarding to get the chance to play and to get to play another football game,” he said.
All the while helping a great cause.