RIPLEY – The Ripley Vikings had to know that they were in for an uphill battle coming in to last Friday night’s game against Class AAA No. 3 ranked Spring Valley. After all, the Timberwolves came into the contest winners of five straight and hadn’t allowed a point in its previous two outings.
Still, the totality of Spring Valley’s performance last Friday night was something that even the Vikings weren’t ready for. The Timberwolves completely dominated Ripley in all phases of the game en route to a 47-6 win.
Spring Valley’s plethora of weapons came to the fore immediately, never allowing the Vikings to get any type of momentum or settle into a rhythm.
For head coach Eddie Smolder, the result of last Friday night serves as a wash and is one he and his team have to forget about.
“We just got beat by a lot better team,” Smolder said, “They just overwhelmed us and beat us in all aspects. We’ve got to forget about this one, move on to our off week and get better.”
From the outset, the Timberwolves’ superior size and skill was too much for the Vikings. After receiving the opening kickoff, the Vikings went backwards on their opening offensive possession.
Two penalties and an airmailed snap over quarterback Brayden Campbell’s head forced a punt and gave the ball to the explosive Spring Valley offense.
The Wolves wasted no time in finding the end zone, getting a 25-yard touchdown run from Mason Brubeck to open the scoring. Up 6-0, the Wolves got another defensive stop and added more points on a 58-yard TD run from Kane Morrone to go up 13-0.
Trailing and desperate, the Viking offense was still unable to move the ball on the Timberwolves’ defense. SV forced another Viking punt, taking over at their own 48. To their credit, the Viking defense managed to force a fourth down, but Brubeck took a sweep for a first down to keep the chains moving.
On the very next play, Owen Porter took a handoff straight up the gut for a 38-yard touchdown run to put the Wolves up 20-0. After yet another defensive stop, Spring Valley quarterback Derek Johnson capped off the quarter with a 74-yard touchdown run to give the Wolves a 26-0 lead after one quarter.
In the second, Spring Valley continued to dominate. Campbell was sacked and fumbled on fourth down on Ripley’s first offensive possession of the quarter, which ultimately led another Johnson touchdown run, this time from 51 yards out to put the Wolves up 34-0 after a two-point conversion.
As Spring Valley was marching toward the goal line on their ensuing possession after stuffing the Vikings on fourth down, Viking senior Chance Morgan forced a Brubeck fumble, which was recovered by the Vikings.
Unfortunately, the Vikings could not capitalize on the momentum, getting stuffed for a loss on 4th and 2 to give the ball right back to Valley.
The Wolves made no mistake this time, as Johnson snuck in from the two-yard line–his third score of the night–to put Spring Valley up 40-0 early in the second quarter. There was more trouble for the Viking offense on their next drive, as Spring Valley’s Logan Caldwell picked off Campbell.
That put the Wolves in great field position at Ripley’s 30. Johnson and the Wolves made short work of the Viking defense from there, ultimately scoring on a two-yard touchdown pass to Chandler Stacy to give Spring Valley the 47-0 lead.
In what was a microcosm of the Vikings’ night, they were finally able to break through the Spring Valley defense on their next possession when Campbell found a wide open Rocky Ford on a pass play down to the Timberwolves’ 26.
However, the Vikings fumbled the ball away on the very next play, squandering that momentum and sending the game into the halftime break with Spring Valley leading 47-0. The numbers at the half more than told the story, with the Timberwolves gaining 387 yards in two quarters, while the Vikings managed just 13.
With the game firmly in hand, Spring Valley took their foot off the gas pedal in the second half, sending in their reserves. That provided the Vikings with a tiny glimmer of hope, as they moved the ball better on offense and were able make some defensive stops.
The Vikings’ lone score came in the third quarter, as Campbell once again found a wide-open Ford on a busted coverage for a 31-yard touchdown.
That ended up being the final score on the night, as the Timberwolves walked out of Death Valley with a convincing, 47-6 win.
Not surprisingly, the raw numbers bear out the Timberwolves’ dominance. They rolled up 445 yards, 413 of which came on the ground (averaging 8.6 yards per carry).
Johnson led the way, picking up 175 yards on nine carries with three touchdowns; Morrone was next, rushing for 58 yards and a TD on just one carry; Brubeck rushed for 42 yards on four carries and a TD; and Owen Porter picked up 37 yards on two carries and a TD.
Through the air, Johnson was 4-of-7 for 32 yards and a score. Stacy and Morrone were the leading pass catchers, with Stacy catching one pass for 14 yards and a TD and Morrone catching two passes for 12 yards.
The Vikings, on the other hand, gained only 118 yards on the night, with just 43 yards rushing. Sophomore R.J. Evans was the leading rusher, picking up 39 yards on nine carries.
Campbell finished 4-of-17 for 75 yards with a TD and an interception. Ford was the leading receiver, catching two passes for 62 yards and a TD.
Defensively, senior J.T. Spurlock once again led the Vikings. He finished with eight and half tackles and a TFL; Kay was next, finishing with seven and a half tackles and a pass breakup; Chance Morgan finished with seven tackles and two force fumbles; Ford finished with six tackles and a TFL; and Evans had five tackles.
The loss stretched Ripley’s losing streak to four, moving them to 2-6 on the season. The Timberwolves moved to 7-1.
Ripley has a much-needed bye week this week and will return to action next Friday night (October 28) at home against Roane.
SV – 26-21-0-0-47
Rip – 0-0-6-0–6
Total yards: Ripley 118 – Spring Valley 445
Rushing (att-yds): Ripley 37-43 – Spring Valley 48-413
Passing (att-comp-yds): Ripley 4-17-32 – Spring Valley 4-9-75
Penalties: Ripley 3-15 yards – Spring Valley 8-60 yards
Turnovers: Ripley 2 – Spring Valley 3
First downs: Ripley 8 – Spring Valley 15
Time of Possession: Ripley 20:51 – Spring Valley 27:06