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Ripley bullets put down Central

Ripley bullets put down Central
Ripley bullets put down Central

Obion Central’s Jackson Yeager lets go of a screen pass during the Rebels’ 42-7 loss on Friday evening in Troy.
Obion Central head coach Shawn Jackson insisted that his team shot itself in the foot during Friday’s 42-7 loss to Ripley.
However, a crunching of the numbers might suggest that the Tigers fired a few of the bullets during the Region 7-3A contest in Troy.
Overall, Ripley rushed for 419 yards with senior running back Jeremy Hurdle totaling 166 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
Individually, sophomore sensation Eric Scruggs, who finished the game with 112 yards on nine hand-offs, set the pace of the game with a 74-yard TD scamper on the first play from scrimmage.
Still, Obion Central did not help its cause during Friday’s defeat as the county locals were whistled for 11 penalties that set the team back 88 yards.
On the flip side, the Tigers’ rush defense wasn’t too shabby either as it held OC to just 36 yards on 22 rushes.
“I have to give them credit because they are a good football team,” Rebels’ head coach Shawn Jackson said after the loss. “Tonight, they came out and scored on the first play and we looked a little bit shell-shocked just as we did against South Side. Then, we committed penalties on what seemed like every drive and if a team is going to be successful that just can’t happen.
“Furthermore, we had opportunities to score, but we didn’t get it done in the red zone tonight, whether it was because we had a fumble or because we didn’t execute.”
Indeed, the Rebels did have red zone woes on Friday with the most prominent instance of the team’s inability to score coming just before intermission.
With under five minutes before halftime, the Rebels — who have now lost 12 in a row — had a key opportunity to score and cut into the Tigers’ 26-0 advantage after a 49-yard pass from Jackson Yeager to Hunter Calhoun that put the host at the Ripley 1 with a fresh set of downs.
However, Calhoun then fumbled on first down and he was tackled for a loss of six yards.
On second down, Calhoun’s number was called again and the gain was a yard at best and on third down, Yeager’s pass was incomplete.
Obion Central (0-2, 0-1 in Region 7-3A) elected to go for the field goal on fourth down, but the attempt of Victor Guerrero fell well short.
Luckily for OC, the Tigers were whistled for a roughing-the-kicker penalty, thus giving the Rebels another opportunity to put some points on the scoreboard from three yards out.
Central elected to go for the touchdown on their second fourth down attempt, but Brandon Armour was taken down two yards short as Ripley (2-1, 1-0 in Region 7-3A) forced a turnover on downs in the waning moments of the first half.
Otherwise in between Scruggs’ opening dash in the first quarter and OC’s failed red zone appearance in the second, the Tigers had a pair of long touchdown runs.
Hurdle broke loose for a 69-yard scamper to paydirt with 2:14 remaining in the first stanza while quarterback J.T. Nipp sprinted 54 yards to the end zone on the second quarter’s first play.
Scruggs also got back into the scoring act as he bounced in from five yards out with 8:19 remaining in the first half. Chris Taylor carried in the two-point conversion as Ripley took a 26-0 advantage into the locker room.
During the second half, the Tigers piled on 17 more points.
With just over three minutes remaining in the third, Chris Crawford sacked Central quarterback Jackson Yeager in the end zone to give his team a safety and a 28-0 lead.
Six plays later, Nipp crossed the goal line for his second touchdown of the evening — an 11-yard sneak with 1:54 remaining in the third.
Taylor booted the extra point to put the Tigers up 35-0 and invoke the TSSAA’s mercy rule that kept the clock running continuously for the remainder of the game.
Still, the Rebels did muster a touchdown during the final five minutes of the game.
Central’s only touchdown was set up with Yeager connecting with Patrick Haskins (20 yards), Brandon Armour (seven yards), Patrick Minnick (two yards) and Jacquis Williams (five yards).
On the sixth and final play of the drive, Yeager found Haskins for a 31-yard touchdown pass.
Overall, Yeager finished the lopsided loss 13-for-23 with 197 passing yards and an interception.
Defensively, Blake Boyd and Patrick Minnick led the way with eight stops apiece.
Meanwhile, Jordan Clouse was in on six total takedowns with four solo stops.
Obion Central rObion Central returns to action Friday at Lone Oak, while Ripley hosts Memphis Hillcrest.
Sports reporter Kenneth Coker can be contacted by e-mail at kcoker@ucmessenger.com.

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