RIPLEY - The effort was there. The desire was there. Unfortunately, the Ripley football team couldn't turn that moxie into points on Friday at No.12 Hurricane and fell, 21-0 in front of the Redskin's homecoming crowd.
The high-flying "dink and dunk" offense of Hurricane is serious business. A collection of experienced skill position players make up their offense. Don't forget the senior laden offensive line either.
This is usually a diagram for success in high school football. Some years the stars align and prep teams are loaded in every facet of the game.
Ripley traveled to Redskin country looking to get some revenge after a pre-season scrimmage in which Hurricane had their way with the Vikings.
Ripley's defense came out and punched Hurricane straight in their Putnam County mouths. Hurricane quarterback Austin Hensley was sacked four times. It was Hensley's calm under pressure that ultimately led Hurricane to victory.
After a scoreless first quarter that saw both offenses sputter, the Redskins got on the board when shifty tailback Zack Pate crossed the goal line with 8:29 left in the half to put Hurricane up 7-0 after the extra point.
Ripley's offense turned the ball over five times, leaving their defense with their back to the goal line twice.
The teams traded punches for the remainder of the half and Hurricane held a slim 7-0 lead at the half.
Ripley came out in the second half fired up and ready to play. Hurricane put a dagger in that excitement within the first three minutes of the half when Hensley found wideout Koi Turner for a 30-yard touchdown reception. Hurricane led 14-0.
Ripley's trusted run game was on vacation on this night. The Vikings mustered only forty yards on 28 touches.
Viking quarterback Jake Martin resembled a character in "The Hunger Games". He ran for his life all evening long and was sacked three times.
It's worthy of noting that Martin escaped the grasp on more that six plays where his athletic feet kept the chains moving for Ripley.
Ripley's fifty yards through the air were a microcosm of the pressure that Hurricane put on the sophomore quarterback.
Hurricane finally put the finishing touches on their homecoming victory when Pate scored again on a run from seven yards out.
After the point after, Hurricane led 21-0 with 4:24 left in the game.
The score remained and Ripley had to make the long drive back to Jackson County comforted by only the fact that they lived to play another game and likely earned some defensive respect from the Hurricane camp.
A highlight for the Vikings has been the emergence of senior Jacob Lewis at defensive end. Lewis had two sacks and was in the Redskin backfield all evening.
Page 2 of 2 - "Jacob played really well. It pleases me to see him doing well and making plays for us," said head coach Jimmy Frashier.
"I felt that all of our coaches did a good job of scouting Hurricane and we were in the game for three and a half quarters. They are very talented in all facets of the game and our kids earned their respect tonight," added Frashier after the game.
Ripley was outgained in yardage 385-90. Hurricane led in time of possession 26:01 to 21:50.
Hurricane was penalized 10 times for 94 yards and Ripley just two for 10 yards.
PASSING Jake Martin completed 3-of-18 passes for fifty yards and three interceptions. Jacob Kay had six rushes for 24 yards.
RUSHING: Tyler Pittenger had eight carries for 18 yards. Bryan Rhodes had three touches for four yards.
RECEIVING: Kade Harrison led the team with two catches for 45 yards and Tyler Kidd caught a single ball for five yards.
DEFENSE: Justin Hinzman led the team with 11 tackles, Jacob Lewis had eight and two sacks, Quaseem Fields had seven, Kade Harrison and Daryl Hicks had five, Brandon Tolley, Alex Hambrick and Zack DeFrank had four, Preston Martin had four and two sacks, Nathan Tucker and Austin Hall had three, Bryan Rhodes had two, Tyler Kidd had one tackle and Tyler Pittenger had a tackle and a fumble recovery.
The Vikings travel to Saint Albans on Friday to take on the Dragons who lost to Princeton 45-22 on Friday.