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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Ripley travels to Saint Albans to slay the Dragons

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  • SAINT ALBANS - Ripley will be traveling to Saint Albans on Friday to face a hungry Red Dragon squad that hasn't won a game this season (0-7).
    Ripley (3-4) is coming off of a 21-0 loss to Hurricane that was closer than the score indicated. It was a hard-hitting affair that Hurricane didn't put away until the final quarter.
    The only common opponent this season to this point has been Nitro.
    Ripley disposed of the Wildcats 48-20. Saint Albans fell to their cross-the-river rival 17-14 in week four.
    The Red Dragons are coming off of last week's 44-22 loss to Princeton that found them giving up over 400 yards of offense to the Tigers.
    For Saint Albans, it starts with the quarterback who leads their spread/read option attack. Super sophomore Noah Reed (6-3 180) is the Red Dragon's signal caller.
    Going into last week's game with Princeton he had completed 59-of-108 passes for 810 yards with five touchdowns and six interceptions.
    The Red Dragons are led on the ground by rugged tailback/fullback Drew Kirby who is a load to bring down at (5-11 220). Going into last week, Kirby had rushed for 641 yards and seven touchdowns on 123 touches. The Red Dragons will try to punch the ball in with Kirby in goal line situations.
    The offensive line for the Red Dragons averages (6-3 285). They are bigger than many collegiate lines.
    The defense is led by returning All-State linebacker Kevin Cantley (6-2 235). Kirby goes both ways as a linebacker as well.
    First year coach Steve Stoffel Jr. was a standout quarterback at Herbert Hoover in the early 1990's and has a penchant for wanting to throw the football when he can.
    For the Vikings, junior Kade Harrison has been the most consistent offensive weapon.
    The (6-3) wideout has hauled in 15 catches for 350 yards and four touchdowns. Harrison also stars for the Viking basketball team as he averaged more than 14 points per game last season as a sophomore.
    Look for this game to be choc-full of big hits and to be highly competitive as both teams have something to play for. Ripley looks to get back to .500 to help secure a winning campaign and the Red Dragons are playing for pride at this point.
    Ripley will definitely have the speed and quickness advantage, something that has burned Saint Albans throughout the season.
    The Vikings must find a way to protect sophomore quarterback Jake Martin. He has been smacked around like a pinball recently and they cannot afford to lose him as the original starter Trevor Tucker was lost earlier this season to a knee injury.
    Look for the Vikings to win a close contest on the strength of their overall team speed and above average special teams play.
    Page 2 of 2 - This will be the 13th meeting between the two schools with the series tied, 6-6.

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