CHARLESTON—Last week, the Ripley Tigers won their first playoff game since 2009. Friday, they were seeking their first second round win since 2007, but they ran into another set of Tigers, defending 3A state champion Charleston, led by athlete Kameron Myers.  Myers scored seven touchdowns, including two on defense to lead Charleston to a 60-32 win over Ripley. Ripley ends its first season under Chad Cook at 8-5. “When the game was on the line they put it in his hands,” said Cook. “He’s a heck of a ball player, the most athletic kid we’ve faced all year.” Ripley had six possessions in the first half, but found success on just one, their final possession before halftime. On that drive, senior quarterback Cody James directed an 11-play, 61-yard drive, connecting with Isaiah Howard for a 6-yard TD pass to trim Charleston’s lead to 24-8. Charleston built their lead with Myers, who had 162 total yards in the first half and accounted for all three of Charleston’s scores. After forcing a punt on Ripley’s opening drive, Myers found a wide open Tilmus Bradford in the corner of the end zone for a 35-yard TD. On their third possession, he jaunted 54 yards for a score.  The two teams traded possession with turnovers, before Myers struck for a 30-yard TD run.  He had 127 yards rushing in the first half. Myers picked up where he left off in the third quarter, as he directed a 6-play, 55-yard drive, capped with a 27-yard TD run. On Ripley’s next possession, he picked up a Ripley fumble and returned it 40 yards for a TD. Charleston led 38-8 with 8:04 to play in third quarter. “He’s one of the best players in the state and one of the most underrated players in the state,” said Charleston coach Tony Vance.  “He’s just a great football player.  He gives it everything he’s got, all 164 pounds.” Ripley showed life and James found Howard for a 60-yard TD pass to Howard that made it 38-24. Ripley went with an onside kick and looked to get it, but an interference call gave it to Charleston.  James was 14 for 23 for 163 yards. Myers finished with 213 of Charleston’s 265 rushing yards. Ripley outgained Charleston 343-324 in the loss.  Ripley cut the lead to 38-24 when James threw a strike to Howard for 60 yards to start the final quarter. They looked to get the onside kick, but a catcher interference call negated the play as momentum began to shift in Ripley’s direction. Charleston went on to add 22 points, highlighted by Myers’ 27 yard interception return. Cook was noticeably upset about the call. “Charleston is a heck of a football team, but honestly, I feel like we got cheated,” said Cook. “You would think in the second round the kids would decide it, but the kids didn’t decide it. “And Charleston still may have still beat us, but I would have like to saw what would have happened if it had went the other way.”  

Kedrick Storey

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