The last time Ripley hosted Brooke in a football game it was a huge, huge occasion.
The year was 1989.
It marked the first-ever time a Viking team was getting a chance to play at Memorial Stadium in a Class AAA playoff game (which was just the third in school history).
The Ripley team doing the hosting was trying to keep a perfect season alive (the first and only for the program).
Brooke, as it had done in two previous playoff showdowns of 1986 (semifinals) and 1987 (first round), sidelined Ripley in postseason play (and would do so again in a 2009 quarterfinal round affair).
Friday night the two met for a regular season encounter. And while the crowd didn’t swell to the overflow proportion which existed on that cool November night in 1989, another nice display of fans were on hand for Homecoming 2018.
And the outcome turned out to be completely different as Ripley exorcised some past demons against the proud Bruin program by coming up with a 42-14 win.
In doing so the Vikings ran their season record to 4-1 while Brooke remained winless at 0-4. All of Ripley’s wins have come in consecutive fashion following a season-opening loss to Parkersburg South.
Running back R.J. Evans paced a potent Ripley offense by rushing for 174 yards on 26 carries and scoring five touchdowns.
Ripley owned a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and never would trail. The Vikings tacked on 20 more in the second quarter before adding a TD in the third and fourth. Brooke would get a touchdown each in the final two quarters of play.
Evans’ first TD run came from 4 yards out, which was followed by a Davisson Flint extra point. In the second quarter Evans scored from 5 yards away. The extra point failed leaving Ripley in front 13-0.
Next came a 12-yard dash by Evans for another TD. A two-point try was unsuccessful.
With the count standing at 19-0, Ripley’s special teams got into the scoring act by blocking a punt. Kadin Hall recovered for the TD. Evan King hauled in a pass from Cyrus Casto for the 2-point conversion giving Ripley a 27-0 halftime cushion.
Brooke finally got on the scoreboard when Logan Williams hit Camden Bates for a 48-yard TD strike. Williams then scored on a 2-point conversion.
Evans added a TD run of 12 yards later in the quarter and then had a 17-yarder in the fourth. Jeremy Harper scored on a 2-point try after the third quarter TD and Flint added the PAT in the fourth.
Sandwiched between those scores was another TD pass from Williams to Joshua Shorts from a yard out. The 2-point try by the Bruins was no good.
Ripley had 413 yards of total offense to Brooke’s 115.
Besides Evans’ huge night, Harper rushed for 77 yards on 15 attempts. Casto had 66 yards on seven carries. Dalton Myers racked up 65 on five carries. Austin Boggess had two rushes for 12 yards. Evan King carried once for four.
Casto was 2-of-4 passing for 27 yards. Harper had a catch for 14 and King one for 13.
Josh Kay had six tackles for Ripley to lead the prevent unit. Other defensive contributors in the tackling department were Chris DeFrank (4), Caydan Keeler (3.5), King (2), Myers (2), Camron Ramsey (2), Austin Rhodes (2), Evans (1.5), Andrew Dolin (1.5), Justin Wheeler (1.5) and Wyatt Cottrill (1.5). Quinton Joyner, Matthew Moore, Brayden Nichols, Kadin Hall, Noah Westfall, Jake Lawrence, Jayden Philyaw, Casto, Luke Miller, Benjamin Fisher, Dawson Anderson, Colton Pepper and Brandon Neal each had one.
King returned three punts for 18 and two kickoffs for 42.
The Vikings will have a Friday off this week before resuming play October 5th at home against Princeton.
At halftime, the newest Mr. and Miss Viking were football standout Caydan Keeler and Olivia Miller.