Behind its best scoring output of the season, the Saltillo football team grabbed its first win on Friday night.
Saltillo beat host Ripley, 36-28, with a balanced effort. The Tigers scored a special teams touchdown, three rushing touchdowns, and a passing touchdown that capped off the game.
On defense, the Tigers limited Ripley’s star running back Jamal Brooks as best as possible while grabbing an interception and recovering a fumble.
“We got everything clicking the way we think we should be able to,” Saltillo coach Ryan Summers said. “The guys played really hard like always, we just made fewer mistakes and were able to take care of business.”
To start the game, Caleb Agnew took the opening kickoff back to give the Tigers (1-3) a quick lead, but Ripley battled back to take a 21-14 lead at halftime. Saltillo’s second touchdown came on a Tyler Smith rush.
Smith scored two more touchdowns on the ground in the second half, his last tying the game in the fourth quarter. With the score tied 28-28, Braham Rinehart caught the game-winning TD in the closing minutes.
Saltillo is averaging just under 20 points per game and has scored 30-plus in two of its four games. Last season, the Tigers only scored 30 or more points one time.
“We started the year with a lot of young guys at critical spots on offense, and it just takes a little time for the offense to find their rhythm and find how everything works together,” Summers said. “I think it’s finally starting to click with these young guys.”
It gets no easier this week as Saltillo will host No. 2-ranked small school Booneville to wrap up its non-division schedule. The Blue Devils are 3-1 and are coming off their first loss of the season to New Albany, 42-41.
Summers knows his squad will have its hands full. Booneville’s offense is averaging 34.5 points per game and beat Ripley, 27-26, in Week 3. QB John Daniel Deaton has passed for 679 yards and 5 touchdowns, while Davian Price has 824 total yards and 13 touchdowns.
Price is averaging 10.3 yards per touch.
“We are going to have to play perfect,” Summers said. “They might be better than they were last year. The quarterback is a year older, and Price is just downright scary. They are huge up front. They’re what Booneville football teams have always been.”