Raiders defeat Vikings in football game; Ripley faces Red Dragons Oct. 8

Mark Martin
Special to Jackson Newspapers
Ripley's Parker Boyd closes in to tackle Roane County's Briar Begler during a Friday night showdown at Memorial Stadium against the Raiders.

Steve Sayre was hoping for a better start to the second half of the 2021 season.

With his team entering a showdown against Roane County at 1-4, the second-year Viking head coach felt a home game in Week 6 could help his team’s fate.

It wasn’t meant to be.

The Raiders came to Memorial Stadium on Friday night, Oct. 1, took control early and never looked back in downing the Vikings in convincing fashion by a final of 44-7.

It was just Roane’s second victory in the series. Ripley still owns the edge, 10-2, but this one was all about the Raiders as they snapped a four-game losing streak against the Viking program.

Sayre felt coming in that this was one of Roane's better teams in the last few years.

They certainly proved him right.

Briar Begler scored on a pair of opening quarter 9-yard runs to get things going for the Raiders. Skyler Delk added a pair of 2-point conversions and just like that Roane was out in front to stay at 16-0.

Delk crashed in from the 1-yard line and the 5-yard line for touchdowns in the second quarter. Begler added the 2-point try after the first score to put Roane up big at 30-0.

Ripley finally got on the board before the half ended when Jaydon Martin hit Joey Ramsey on a 26-yard pass play. Katy Lawrence’s extra point was good, making the halftime count 30-7.

Unfortunately, that would be all of Ripley’s scoring for the night.

The Ripley Vikings enter the field for second half play in Friday's loss to the Roane County Raiders.

Delk scored in the third from five yards away followed by a Begler 2-point run.

Ethan Collins scored the final TD in the fourth on a 1-yard dash.

Roane piled up 402 yards on the night to Ripley’s 94.

The bulk of Roane’s offense was on the ground as they churned out 377 yards.

Begler finished the night with 193 yards on 23 carries while Delk had 120 yard on 20 carries.

Quarterback Shadraq Greathouse was 1-for-3 passing for 25 yards.

“Roane has an excellent team. This may be their best since Dylan Cottrell and that bunch of guys (2010),” said Sayre.

Cottrell was an outstanding quarterback for the Raider program. A four-time state wrestling champ and Dutton Award winner as the best in West Virginia, Cottrell competed on the mats at the collegiate level for WVU and is now the head coach at Glenville State College.

Brady Anderson led Ripley’s rushing attack with 30 yards on eight carries.

Ty Stephens was 3-of-7 for 23 yards passing. Martin completed the one pass for a TD in his two attempts.

Stephens suffered an injured wrist in the second quarter.

“It’s his left wrist, hopefully we will have him back this week,” said Sayre. “Jaydon did a nice job in a tough situation."

Isaiah Casto caught two passes for 20 yards. Ramsey had the TD grab of 26 and Eli Miller hauled in one for three.

Casto was Ripley’s top tackler with eight solos and two assists. Hunter Brown had six solos and five assists. Brandon Deal had six solos and three assists.

“They've got an excellent offensive line. Their backs run hard. They just dominated the line of scrimmage,” Sayre said.  “They dominated the time of possession and it just didn’t allow us enough plays.”

Roane had the ball for 34:07. Ripley had it less than 14.

“We didn’t play well. Give them all they credit, they made us look bad.”

St. Albans is next

The Vikings will now turn their attention to a 1-5 St. Albans team.

Fourth-year head coach Nick Watts’ crew lost the previous week to Riverside, 22-7.

St. Albans’ lone win came in Week 2 of the season by a 6-3 count over Nitro in the “Battle of the Bridge” series.

The Red Dragons have faced some stiff competition in George Washington, South Charleston, Spring Valley and Hurricane.

GW bested the Red Dragons in the season opener, 49-0. After the Nitro win, St. Albans fell to SC, 55-0, SV, 53-0, and Hurricane, 54-8.

“When you look at the level of competition they have played, it’s something,” said Sayre. “They’ve played some tough teams. I think we match up pretty well with them size-wise.”

In the loss to Riverside, the Red Dragons hung around in their Homecoming affair before succumbing to the Warriors.

Riverside forced the Red Dragons into five turnovers on the night.

SA was outgained in the game, 274-160.

Quarterback Michael Hindman can be a force for the Red Dragons. He was a running back when the season started. An excellent athlete, Hindman plays both basketball and baseball at the school.

Sayre said the concern this week is not so much about St. Albans, but his Vikings.

“We’ve got to establish our running game,” the Viking leader stated. “It is something we have struggled with the last two games. We were having a hard time getting anything going the other night.

“We have got to keep our defense off the field. Roane had the ball 3-to-1 in time of possession. You can’t win a game like that unless you are hitting big plays. But we’re not built that way.”

Despite the struggles in this 1-5 start, Sayre says he sees several bright spots with this team.

“Our young kids are stepping up and that means a lot,” he said. “We’ve got to just keep working at it.”

Viking football notebook

To ease the frustration following another tough loss, Sayre, who is also a farmer, spent 16 hours in the hayfield on Saturday, Oct. 2.

Ripley leads the series with St. Albans, 9-8. The Vikings have won three of the last four meetings and six of the last eight. The first-ever meeting between the two schools was 1933, won by SA 34-0.

Watts is a former Red Dragon standout, who played college football at the University of Charleston as a defensive back.

Watts spent time on the coaching staff at Cabell Midland under Luke Salmons, a former Ravenswood star.

Watts, a 2007 SA grad, wears a tie during games stating that Friday is a very important day during football season.

St. Albans last reached the playoffs in 2007.

It was the season in which another former Red Dragon star — Derek Christian — led the St. Albans to the Class AAA state runner-up finish against Parkersburg.

St. Albans won a title in 1955.

SA also lost titles in 1968 and 1979.

In 1955, the late Tags Meredith was a Kennedy Award winner for St. Albans.

SA has won two state baseball titles in recent years (2017 and 2019).

The girls softball program won it all in 2010 and played for the title this past season.

The Friday, Oct. 8, game will air live on WCEF-FM (98.3) with Brian Johnson, Jeff Waybright and Phil Inman.