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Air show expected when Wolfpack, Generals meet

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Ridgeview football

Brandon Beavers, Ryan O'Quinn and Cannon Hill will lead Ridgeview to Lee High tonight for a non-district clash that is expected to fill the air with footballs on both sides. 

The Lee High Generals play their home football games at Five Star Stadium and some stars will be on the field there Friday night slinging the pigskin and catching it.

When Lee entertains Mountain 7 District rival Ridgeview at the venue that opened in 1990, the spotlight will be shining bright on a couple of quarterback/wide receiver combos that are among the best Southwest Virginia has to offer.

Ridgeview sophomore Ryan O’Quinn has thrown for 597 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior Brandon Beavers has accounted for five of those scores and 296 of those yards on 14 catches.

“I feel like Ryan and I definitely synched up,” Beavers said. “We’ve had a lot of throwing sessions over the past couple of years. A lot of summer sessions, weekend sessions. You have to build that connection and it is very important,” Beavers said. “I think it is communication and repetitions. ‘Hey, can you throw that pass more outside?’ or ‘Can you cut your route off quicker?’ Ryan is my QB1 and I consider myself his WR1 and I think it that shows on the field. I trust him to put it out there and he trusts me to go get it.”

Meanwhile, Lee High sophomore Brynnen Pendergraft has thrown for 500 yards and seven TDs with senior Brayden Hammonds responsible for 10 receptions, 256 yards and three scores.

“From day one, me and Brayden have always been in sync,” Pendergraft said. “I really think that has come from playing basketball with each other. Brayden and I are like brothers and have always done stuff together ever since I can remember. … His ability to run after the catch is impressive. He runs extremely hard after the catch. Sometimes after I throw a little screen to him and see a defender about to tackle him, Brayden just throws them off or jukes out of the way and that really impresses all us.”

Eight different players have caught passes for Lee, while five dudes have hauled in receptions for Ridgeview. It could be an air show this evening.

“I think what has impressed me the most with Ryan and Brandon has been how they have handled the expectations for themselves and the team,” said first-year Ridgeview coach Dewayne Stanley. “Brandon has worked really hard on improving his blocking and route running and it shows. Ryan has become a big part of our running game this year and that has allowed us to be a lot more balanced. As for the two kids from Lee, I think what impresses me is their obvious comfort with each other and the system. Sharp routes and the ball always comes out in time.”

Mountain 7 District preseason favorite Ridgeview (3-0, 1-0) is averaging 37.7 points per game and is coming off a bye week. Cannon Hill (14 carries, 101 yards; 10 catches, 126 yards), Koda Counts, Daquan Profitt, Ian Hartsock and Gabe Hackney have also found their way to the end zone for the Wolfpack.

“I’ve been extremely happy with our effort so far this season,” Stanley said. “We need to do a better job of protecting the ball, but we’ve been really balanced on offense and played good defense.”

Lee High (2-1, 0-1) suffered a 48-7 loss to Union in Week 1, but the Generals have rebounded with two blowout wins over Class 1 opponents.

The program is trending upward under the direction of head coach Joey Carroll, who is in his second season at the helm of his alma mater. The Generals snapped a 26-game losing streak last season and reached the playoffs.

Grayson Huff (435 rushing yards) has been a key to Lee’s success as well.

Expect a big crowd to fill Lee’s facility tonight with some energy that hasn’t been present there in a long time.

“Playing at Five Star Stadium is just a different feeling, man,” Pendergraft said “Playing in front of our home crowd just brings a whole different feeling. When the cannon goes off, the fight song starts and all of the fans are clapping to the fight song, there’s just no better feeling than that.”

thayes@bristolnews.com — Twitter:@Hayes_BHCSports — (276) 645-2570

Air Show

RIDGEVIEW

Quarterback Ryan O’Quinn

Passing: 35-of-51, 597 yards, 7 Touchdowns, 5 Interceptions

Rushing: 27 carries, 181 yards, 2 Touchdowns

Wide Receiver Brandon Beavers

Receiving: 14 carries, 296 yards, 5 Touchdowns

Rushing: 8 carries, 119 yards, 1 Touchdown

LEE HIGH

Quarterback Brynnen Pendergraft

Passing: 30-of-62, 500 yards, 7 Touchdowns, 0 Interceptions

Wide Receiver Brayden Hammonds

Receiving:10 catches, 256 yards, 3 Touchdowns

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