Ripley looks to even record against winless Lincoln County

RIPLEY - The Viking football team (1-2) will host Lincoln County (0-3) tomorrow in Death Valley. The Panthers are reeling after three brutal beatings. They lost 63-8 to Huntington in their opener, then were blasted by AA Scott 53-20 and last week were blanked by the Wildcats Logan 48-0.

The season got off to a bad start for Lincoln County when five returning starters were ruled ineligible prior to the season.
Coach Cory Beck has tried to find chemistry for a young team headed in the wrong direction.

The Panthers are lead by four players who are responsible for the lion's share of their offensive production. Quarterback Grant Bates, tailback Brian Parsons and wideouts Blake Taylor and Connor Smith. Taylor and Smith are probably the team's best athletes.

For the Vikings, the team is riding high after a 48-20 skewering of Nitro that found Ripley rushing for 319 yards and picking off two passes that were returned for touchdowns in the fourth quarter. In the process, they got a win in the Mountain State Athletic Conference under their belt.

"I have to give credit to my staff. I have some talented coaches who do a good job of preparing these guys for Friday nights. We are starting to see good results and we are going to get better each week," said Coach Frashier.

Quarterback Trevor Tucker has had an injured throwing hand for the last week but he did play through it and is expected to again as all reports are that he is doing much better.

The Vikings will be without rugged tight end Nathan Donohew who was suspended for this game due to a scuffle last Friday in the Nitro game. The opposing player was also suspended for one game. Donohew is a key blocker in the running game and a tough cover for any prep defense in the passing game.

Ripley is averaging 30.0 points per game and is giving up an average of 27.3 per contest after three games. The team is led on defense by Justin Hinzman who has 36 tackles and a pick six to his credit this season.

Ripley would have to have a complete collapse to lose this game. Not only is Lincoln County reeling but they have to make that brutal drive from Hamlin. That alone will wear out a ball team before they even hit the field.

Luckily for the Panthers, this will be the last year for them in the Mountain State Athletic Conference. Look for the Vikings shiny new spread offense to score often in this game enabling them to even their record at (2-2).

From Mark Martin's Notebook: The series between the two schools stands at 2-1 in favor of Ripley...Lincoln downed the Vikings in Ripley two years ago...LC is still looking for its first winning season in school history...Lincoln County is in its seventh year of existence...The school is a consolidation of old Hamlin, Duval and Guyan Valley High Schools...Most from Harts, also located in Lincoln County, attend Chapmanville Regional...Duval won one of its two Class A state titles at Ripley in 1978 under the late Mike Linsky, a Sherman High school graduate.