Shady Spring hands Ripley Vikings a loss; Vikings contend with Point Pleasant Oct. 29

Mark Martin
Special to Jackson Newspapers

Steve Sayre stated his Ripley Viking football team had its best effort of the season offensively against Shady Spring.

The Tigers, though, managed more points in handing Ripley a seventh straight setback at their own Thomas Field in Raleigh County.

With the defeat, Ripley fell to 1-8 on the year. Shady Spring, a Class AA playoff contender, improved to 5-3.

“We had a good game passing. Jaydon Martin gave us a spark in the running game and Joey (Ramsey) and Brady (Anderson) did some good things,” said Sayre.

But the Vikings wound up seeing red in the red zone.

“We were inside the 20 four times and didn’t come away with any points,” he said. “And that makes things tough. We played great between the 20s.”

Shady’s defense shut down two drives with a pair of interceptions.

After a scoreless first quarter, three touchdowns were produced in the second quarter ... all within the span of a minute.

Shady got on the board with 2:12 remaining before halftime when Cameron Manns and Gavin Davis hooked up for a 64-yard completion, which resulted in six points. Will Harmon’s extra point attempt was blocked.

Ripley answered on a Ty Stephens to Joey Ramsey pass play covering 71 yards. Carter Cochran’s extra point put the Vikings in front.

But not for long.

Manns then hit Tyler Mackey from 27 yards out. Manns found Davis through the air for the 2-point try, giving Shady back the advantage with 1:37 left before the break.

Shady went ahead by two touchdowns in the third quarter on a 53-yard run by Caleb Whitaker. The extra point was unsuccessful, leaving the score 20-7 at the 4:06 mark of the third.

The Tigers stretched out their lead with 3:05 to go in the game when James Sellards crashed into the end zone from the 1-yard line. Sellards scored again on the 2-point attempt to make it a 28-7 count.

Ripley battled right back and got its second score on a 17-yard run by Anderson with 1:37 left in the contest. Kaitlyn Lawrence drilled the extra point to finish the scoring for the night.

“Shady has a good team,” said Sayre. “They are fighting for playoff positioning. We had our chances.”

Ripley ran 17 more plays than Shady (59-42).

The Vikings had the edge in the air, 179-117. Shady had the more productive rushing attack with 246 yards to 157 for Ripley.

Stephens was 10-of-18 in the passing game with the one TD.

Martin picked up 53 yards on eight carries. Ramsey had 51 on 18 and Anderson managed 42 on 11, including the score.

Ramsey was the top receiver with three catches for 69 yards, including the TD. Eli Miller had three grabs for 48. Isaiah Casto had one for 32, Wyatt Simon snagged a pass for 14. Blake Cummings caught a 9-yard pass and Parker Boyd had a reception for six.

Colton Pepper, Ramsey and Collen Moore all had four solo tackles in the game. Pepper had two assists while Ramsey and Moore had one each. Hunter Brown and Colton Rhodes had three solos each while Bradley Anderson, Brady Anderson and Virgil Myers each had two.

“It was a back and forth game, but they just made a few more plays,” Sayre said.

Point is next

The Vikings conclude the season in a rivalry game at Point Pleasant for the Old Oaken Bucket.

Friday night, Oct. 29, Ripley and Point Pleasant will collide in Mason County. To the winner will go the historic Old Oaken Bucket. Point Pleasant leads the overall series with the Vikings.

Point Pleasant is celebrating its 100th season of football.

The contest at Ohio Valley Bank Track & Field Stadium is set for 7:30.

“Point has an outstanding football team. They will be the best football team we have played all year,” Sayre said.

After opening with a loss to Greenbrier East (32-22), the Big Blacks have produced seven wins (one by forfeit).

Wins for Dave Darst’s crew have come against Gallia Academy (26-22), Mingo Central (66-28), Oak Glen (42-7), Lincoln County (48-20), Keyser (35-33), Wyoming East (forfeit) and Man (41-14).

Point had reached third in the Class AA ratings of West Virginia.

“They would be a playoff team if they were Class AAA,” said Sayre.

The second-year Viking leader is impressed with Darst’s team on the offensive side of the ball.

“Their offense is the best we’ve seen,” he said. “It’s not even close.”

Point Pleasant is led by dual threat quarterback Evan Roach, a junior.

Gavin Jeffers is a speedy tailback.

“They have size and they have speed,” Sayre said. “They don’t have any weaknesses. They have a great program and they’ve got it rolling.”

While a challenge, Sayre said playing someone like Point is the perfect setting to end the season on a high note.

“It’s a rivalry game against a great team. We’ve got to give it our best shot.”

Viking game notes

Point leads the Bucket series, 53-23-1.

Point won the last meeting in 2019.

The Mason County school has won five in a row.

Point’s longest win span took place from 1967-1977.

Ripley’s longest win streak is four from 1986-89.

Darst is a former Point Pleasant great who became a Hall of Famer at Glenville State College for his excellence in both football and track and field.

He has a record of 113-37 as Point’s head coach.

His 2011 team played for the Class AA state championship, falling to Wayne.

The program competed at the Class AAA the next four years and made the playoffs each time before dropping back to AA.

Point Pleasant kicker Ellie Wood is the daughter of former Jackson County teacher Chip Wood, who serves as Point Pleasant’s head boys soccer coach.

Assistant coach Joe Johnson is a cousin to WCEF-FM play-by-play man Brian Johnson, who will be on the call of the game with Jeff Waybright and Phil Inman.