By Kedrick Storey
RIPLEY – Ripley coach Chad Cook said his offensive line would be key to a successful season. That front line was huge in Friday’s win over New Albany.
For the second week in a row, Ripley (4-6, 2-3) controlled the line of scrimmage, gaining over 450 yards in a 51-22 win over the Bulldogs in both teams Division 2-4A and regular season finale.
The Tigers’ third straight win in the “Hwy. 15 Rivalry” put them in the playoffs for the fifth year in a row.
“They just do what I ask them to do,” said Ripley offensive lineman coach Sam Hathorn. “They play hard and they take pride in being offensive linemen. That’s all you can ask for.”
Ripley rushed for 262 yards led by senior QB Tucker Childers with 123 on 18 carries. Senior Mason Clemmer had 71 yards and a score. Sophomore Mickicho Adams added 66 yards and two scores.
Childers was also protected all night, completing 13 of 20 passes for 221 yards and three scores, one each to Zion Gregory, Stephon Massie and Jey Johnson.
His 22 yard-strike to Johnson gave Ripley a 38-14 lead with 2:35 to play in the third quarter.
New Albany (4-7, 1-4) was led by junior QB Sam McMillin, who was 10 for 20 for 205 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Turning Point: Leading 14-7 with 5:57 left in the second quarter, Ripley stopped New Albany on a 4th-and-2. The Tigers would add two more scores for a 30-14 lead at halftime.
Point Men: Ripley’s offensive line rotation of J.D. Johnson, Ben Holcomb, Nolan Bennett, Dorian Cox, Austin Brown and Darius Gaillard led the way for over 450 total yards and 51 points.
Talking Point: “The rushing yards were most definitely my offensive line. They’ve been a big part of this season.” – Ripley QB Tucker Childers
• Ripley held New Albany to 71 yards rushing and 276 total yards.
• Friday’s win was Ripley’s third in a row over New Albany.
• Ripley holds a 34-30-2 lead in the series.