WISE, Va. – Ridgeview running back Trenton Adkins said that he is improving with each game.
That has to be a scary thought for football teams around far Southwest Virginia.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior accounted for 361 yards rushing and six scores on 35 carries Friday as the Ridgeview Wolfpack took a 41-20 win over the Wise County Central Warriors in a Mountain 7 District showdown before an overflow crowd.
Adkins has already passed the 1,000-yard rushing mark through just three games. So what more can he do?
“I feel like that I’m maturing and I can see the holes better,” Adkins said.
In addition to precision cuts, Adkins confounded Central defenders with stutter-steps, swim moves, second effort and sudden bursts of speed where he hurdled over piles.
“That comes from watching different running backs on YouTube and on Sunday nights,” Adkins said. “I try to pick up everything I can.”
According to the Ridgeview star, he had an extra boost of motivational fuel Friday courtesy of the Warriors.
“When they kept talking trash, I wanted to shut them up so I guess I just kicked into another gear,” Adkins said. “That had been going on for the whole week and it went on for the entire game.”
With 2:10 left in the first half and the Wolfpack leading 13-0, Adkins turned on his speed en route to an 80-yard TD run.
“I think that finally shut them up,” Adkins said. “I saw a few holes, made a few cuts and the linemen really blocked well.”
Ridgeview coach Rick Mullins explained the feeling of having the ultimate silencer in his backfield.
“We work on different things on offense, but we go to Trenton when we really need something,” Mullins said. “Every team knows it and that’s probably the way it’s going to be for a while. When you have a horse, you ride him.”
Mullins pointed to the refinements in the skill-set of Adkins.
“Trenton’s vision has gotten a lot better. That’s probably his greatest asset right now,” Mullins said. “We have some gigantic holes on some of his runs, but sometimes there’s only a sliver there and Trenton gets through it.”
Adkins, who ran the same play repeatedly in the second half, said he didn’t mind the heavy work load.
“I like it, even though it’s really tiring,” Adkins said.
Following a week of film study on Ridgeview, Wise Central coach Luke Owens knew what to expect.
“Adkins is what we thought he was. He’s an awfully good player,” Owens said.
Owens said he was pleased with how his sophomore-dominated squad responded to deficits of 20-0 and 34-12. The Warriors closed their deficit to 34-20 on ajn 8-yard TD pass to junior Ben Brickey with 8:13 left in the game.
“For a bunch of undersized kids, we battled right back,” Owens said. “We’re getting ready to get over this hump.”
The game started on a down note for Central after speedway sophomore Maddox Reynolds had to be removed from the field on a gurney after suffering a knee injury at the 9:41 mark of the first quarter. Reynolds starts at wingback and free safety.
“Maddox is a big part of our offense, and I thought the kids dug deep after that,” Owens said. “Ridgeview just has a good team that is going to win a bunch of games, but I think we’re going to win a bunch of games too.”
Mullins agreed that Ridgeview’s size and strength made a difference.
“[Central] played really well, but I thought we were able to wear them a little in the second half and we were able to move the ball kind of at all,” Mullins said. “But we’ve got work to do on defense.”
The bright spot for Central was the play of sophomore quarterback Ethan Mullins, who threw for 166 yards and two scores. Junior C.J. Crabtree supplied 90 yards rushing and a score for Central on 19 carries.
“We did some good things on offense, but you could tell a difference with the size advantage of Ridgeview,” Owens said. “But again [Adkins] is hard to bring down. He’s special.”
Adkins said he plans to return to the drawing board this week in practice.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Adkins said.
“I mean 400 yards and seven touchdowns. That would be an improvement,” Adkins said.
Ridgeview 6 14 14 7-41
Wise Central 0 6 6 8-20
R – Adkins 2 run (kick failed)
R - Adkins 5 run (Knepp kick)
R - Adkins 80 (Knepp kick)
WC – Brickey 30 pass m E. Mullins (run failed)
WC – Crabtree 6 run (run failed)
R – Adkins 6 run (Knepp kick)
R – Adkins 34 run (Knepp kick)
WC – Brickey 8 pass from E. Mullins (L. Mullins pass from E. Mullins)
R – Adkins 25 run (Knepp kick)
First Downs: R 22, WC 12; Rushes-Yards: 44-428, WC 39-130; Passing Yards: R 33, WC 166; Comp-Att-Int.: R 2-7-0, WC 6-12-0; Fumbles-Lost: R 2-2, WC 0-0; Penalties-Yards: R 8-85, WC 7-70; Punts-Average: R 1-41, WC 6-36