NEW ALBANY – Immanuel Griffin's long touchdown run, along with some tough defense, put a damper on New Albany's homecoming in Ripley's 10-7 win on Friday.
Griffin's scamper off the left side resulted in a 10-0 Tiger lead with 6:06 remaining.
New Albany fought back to score to close it to three points and also recovered the ensuing onside kick. However, the Ripley defense stiffened and turned back the final threat as a fourth-down pass to the end zone fell incomplete, and Ripley ran out the clock.
"I'm so proud of (Griffin), we didn't produce a lot on offense, but we got enough to win the game," Ripley coach Perry Liles said. "We are always proud of our defense, they are why we win. Our kids rose to the occasion and I couldn't be prouder."
Ripley had a golden opportunity midway through the second quarter as the Tigers recovered a Bulldog fumble at the New Albany 20. Ripley drove to the 9 but had to settle for a field goal, and Freddy Lopez delivered with a 27-yarder. The teams went to half with the Tigers up 3-0.
Following Griffin's run for the game's first touchdown, the Bulldog offense found some consistency and drove 64 yards to score as Ke'Lan Simpson powered in from the 3, and Wright Miskelly added the PAT to close the score to 10-7.
New Albany got the bounce it was looking for on the onside kick following the TD and recovered the ball at the Bulldog 46.
The Bulldogs drove to the Tiger 25, but the Ripley defense was able to stave off the drive and win the game.
Ripley improves to 6-1 and 2-0 in Division 1-4A. New Albany falls to 4-3 and 0-2 in division.
Turning Point: Griffin's 80-yard run on the first play from scrimmage after New Albany missed a 32-yard field goal gave the Tigers a two-score lead.
Point Man: Griffin had the lone touchdown for the Tigers and picked up 166 yards on 17 carries, with the 80-yarder being his longest run.
Talking Point: "Ultimately, we've got to do a better job moving the ball on offense. We scored late and had a lot of energy and effort, (and) the guys played hard." – New Albany coach Cody Stubblefield
• Both defenses played well all night as neither team was able to score a touchdown for nearly 42 minutes of play.
• Kody Atkinson had 14 carries for 63 yards, while Ke'Lan Simpson ran 3 yards for the lone New Albany score.
• Next Friday, Ripley will host South Pontotoc for homecoming, while New Albany will travel to North Pontotoc.