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Williamstown brings new head coach to meet Devils

Mark Martin
Jackson Newspapers

When it comes to the Williamstown High School football team of 2020, there is something new when one gazes at the Yellowjacket sidelines.

Chris Beck is now the new leader of Yellowjacket football taking over for the highly-successful Terry Smith.

While Beck becomes the latest head coach for the program, he isn’t a stranger to the Williamstown football scene having served as one of Smith’s assistants the past several years.

And make no mistake, while Williamstown is under the guidance of someone other than Smith, the Yellowjackets appear to be the same old, same old.

That was evident with a season-opening, 34-28, win against cross-river rival Marietta, Ohio last Friday.

Thus, the Yellowjackets will pose yet another challenge to Ravenswood as they invade Flinn Field at Spano-Taylor Stadium tonight (Friday) for Game No. 2 of the campaign.

It is a challenge Red Devil head coach Eric Hupp proudly accepts.

“It’s always a big game. An LKC rivalry game,” Hupp said. “We like the challenge.”

While Williamstown was victorious in the first game of 2020, Ravenswood suffered through a tough 21-6 defeat on the road at the hands of Buffalo.

“We have been working on cleaning up a lot of mistakes, both offensively and defensively,” Hupp said.

The third-year Devil leader realizes his team must improve greatly from Game No. 1 to Game No. 2.

“We know we’re going to play a high-ranked team (tonight),” he said. “They like to run and pull those guards.”

In the win over Marietta (a future opponent of Ripley), who dropped to 0-2 with the loss, Trevor Oates rushed for 206 yards on 23 carries for Williamstown and scored three touchdowns. Oates’ third score proved to be the game-winner.

With 4:56 to go and the score tied at 28-28, Williamstown put together a 10-play, 66-yard drive with Oates capping it off on a 2-yard TD run.

Oates then picked off Marietta quarterback Reece Gerber to seal the deal.

Williamstown quarterback Brayden Modesitt rushed the football 19 times for 112 yards in the win and was 2-of-9 passing for 32 yards.

Hupp is excited to be at home with the Yellowjackets. Last Friday’s game at Buffalo was “quiet” due to COVID-19 restrictions on the number of fans who can come to the game.

“We will have more parents, there will be people over in the church parking lot. We’ll have the band,” said Hupp.

The Williamstown game is one of only four at home this season for Ravenswood, so Hupp knows it is important his team embraces the moment of being inside the friendly confines of their own venue.

“It’s a home game and it’s pretty exciting,” Hupp said.

RED DEVIL GAME NOTES – Heath and Jared Bloxton will call the action tonight of the showdown with Williamstown on WMOV-AM & FM (1360 and 106.5)… Williamstown has won six of the last seven meetings…The Devils battled the ‘Jackets last year in the first half and trailed just 10-0 (it was a 3-0 game with just second remaining until the break) before Williamstown opened it up in the final two quarters to prevail, 44-0…Ravenswood’s last win came in 2014 as the Devils topped the Yellowjackets, 60-20, under then head coach Mick Price…Williamstown leads the overall series, 24-13-1...On October 30, 1915 the two met for the first time with Ravenswood winning, 20-0…Williamstown has been to the playoffs 20 straight years and won two titles in that span (2008 and 2014)…Smith was 164-41 in his 16 seasons at Williamstown and posted a 34-14 playoff mark…He also won 482 games as the school’s head baseball coach.