From one Jackson County team to another.
Such will be the mission for the Roane County Raiders tonight (Friday).
After defeating Ravenswood, 50-30, last Friday night in Spencer, the Raiders now make their way to Ripley for a showdown with Eddie Smolder’s Vikings.
Roane improved to 3-5 with the victory in the final game of the year at County Stadium.
Tonight, Roane meets a Ripley team that is rolling. The Vikings have won seven straight games and are presently No. 5 in the latest Class AAA ratings.
Ripley has secured itself a berth in the Class AAA playoffs, but Smolder said now is not the time to get complacent.
After all, while this is technically Ripley’s final home game of the regular season the Vikings will likely be home for the postseason if the winning continues.
Ripley travels to Ravenswood next Friday to close out the 2018 regular season.
“We’re excited because it is the next game,” Smolder said. “We have 15 seniors. This will be Senior Night and we want to send them out the right way. We are hoping for a big crowd. We’ve had a good week of practice and we are just ready to get another win.”
In the Ravenswood game, Roane led by a score of 30-16 at halftime. The Devils, though, evened the count at 30-30 with two touchdowns in the third quarter. Roane would go on to score 20 unanswered in the fourth for the win.
While Roane was putting up 50 in its win, that’s how many Ripley scored in the first half against St. Albans last Friday. Ripley went on to win the game, 65-24.
Roane’s other two wins have come against St. Marys, 28-17, and Braxton County, 40-14.
The Raiders of head coach Paul Burdette have lost to Liberty Harrison (42-22), Lincoln County (37-6), Nicholas County (39-0), Clay County (34-22) and Lincoln, 27-6). They will conclude their season next Friday in Fayette County against current Class A No. 5 Midland Trail, who is 8-0 going into tonight’s action with 6-2 Oak Hill, the No. 14-rated team in Class AA.
Roane is averaging 21.75 points per game while allowing 30.25.
The Raider offensive leader is junior quarterback Danny Bush, who has scored five touchdowns and five two-point conversions.
Bush has rushed for 714 yards on 145 carries. Josh Huffman has carried the ball 74 times for 352 yards. Huffman has scored four touchdowns.
Bush has completed 45 for 627 yards and three touchdowns. He’s suffered nine interceptions.
Gabe Stump and Issac Ryan are the top receivers with 14 and 13 catches, respectively.
Huff is the defensive leader with 96 tackles. Bush is next in line with 50.
“The Bush kid is a good athlete,” said Smolder. “He’s a good runner and a good passer, too. They are fundamentally sound. We just have to take care of our assignments.”
Ripley leads the all-time series with Roane County, 8-1 … Roane’s lone win came in the 2011 season, 19-7 … Ripley has scored 55 and 44 the past two years against the Raiders … Roane County High School is a consolidation of old Spencer and Walton High Schools … Ripley owned a 19-18 edge over Spencer in their series which dates back to 1933 … Ripley was 9-1 against Walton teams … The two played those 10 games during a period of 1939-1957 … Paul Burdette is in his 8th season as head coach of his alma mater … His head coaching record is 40-41 … Burdette was a standout at Roane under coaching legend Jim Hamric and then enjoyed an outstanding career at Glenville State College … WCEF-FM (98.3) and c98.com will air the game live with Brian Johnson, Jeff Waybright and Mark Johnson.