In this COVID-19 high school football season of 2020, Ripley has had to schedule teams from as far away as the Eastern Panhandle.
And for the second time in the span of three weeks, things did not go well for the Vikings.
Ripley suffered its third loss of the season Friday night with a 27-7 setback at the hands of Berkeley Springs, who hails from Morgan County.
The loss dropped Ripley to 5-3 while the Indians improved to 3-4.
While one might say the Vikings were spooked by the Indians on the night before Halloween, their talent came as no surprise to head coach Steve Sayre. The Ripley football leader had said prior to the game the Indians were much better than their 2-4 record indicated.
They proved just that in jumping to a 14-0 lead – one they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way.
Gavin Barkley connected with Tymir Ross on a 12-yard pass play at the 6:34 mark. The extra point try was good by Avery King to give the Indians the 7-0 advantage.
On the first play of the second quarter at the 11:55 mark the Indians found the end zone for a second time when Barkley hit Ross again, this time from 24 yards out. King’s kick made it a 14-0 count.
Ripley closed the gap to 14-7 at halftime when Ty Stephens connected with Alexander Mobley on a 9-yard pass play for what would turn out to be Ripley’s only TD of the game. The score came with just 46 seconds remaining before halftime. Carter Cochran added the point after.
The score remained 14-7 until the Indians put two on the board in the fourth, both by Peyton Thompson, who finished the night with 240 yards rushing. Of Berkeley Springs’ 27 rushing plays, 25 featured Thompson with the ball in his hands.
His first fourth quarter TD came from 51 yards out at the 7:26 mark and the second came with 1:58 to go in the game. Good nailed the extra point after the first TD but missed on the second.
Barkley threw for 180 yards, completing 19-of-30 passes.
Evan Thompson caught eight passes for 46 yards while Ross had seven receptions for 99.
Stephens threw for 125 yards. He completed 10-of-18 attempts with the one touchdown and an interception. Brady Anderson was 0-for-2.
Eli Miller caught five of Stephens’ passes for 63 yards. Isaiah Casto hauled in three for 31. Joey Ramsey caught one for 22 and Mobley had the TD catch.
Eli Miller picked up 60 yards on two carries for Ripley.
Hall had 27 yards on 12 carries. Ramsey rushed five times for 10 yards. Casto had a carry for eight. Mobley had five yards on four carries. Anderson picked up two yards on two attempts.
Virgil Myers and Aydin Domico carried once each. Stephens was credited with nine carries.
Matt Moore had seven tackles to lead the defensive charge.
Casto added six.
Quinton Joyner (5.5), Colton Pepper (5), Andrew Comer (4), Hall (3.5), Joshua Roush (3), and Stephens (2). Making one stop each were Miller, Blake Cummings, Kaleb Swisher, Cochran, and Austin Litton.
Ripley meets rival Ravenswood Friday in the annual “Battle of the Hatchet” on the Red Devils home turf of Flinn Field at Spano-Taylor Stadium.