Updated Sat, Aug 30, 2014 2:12 am
The Patriots were firing on all cylinders on Friday, as Parkersburg South defeated the Ripley Vikings 35-27 at home in the season-opener.
The Vikings were out for revenge after last year’s 47-35 to the Patriots, and their defense came prepared after allowing 500-plus rushing yards to the Patriots in the game last year.
Ripley forced a fumble on Parkersburg South’s first possession, and kept the Patriots offense in check for most of the first quarter, holding the Patriots scoreless in the quarter.
The second quarter was a different story, however. Patriots running back Zach Thompson opened up the scoring on a seven-yard scamper on the first play of the quarter to put Parkersburg South up 7-0.
After a short drive from Ripley, the Patriots struck again on a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Garrett Gilkeson to junior receiver Cody Boggs. This would be one of several hookups between the two as Boggs finished with six catches for 89 yards in the game.
The Vikings answered on the ensuing drive when running back Jake Martin delivered a tough seven-yard run into the end zone to put the score at 14-7. Martin would finish the night with 103 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.
After trading punts on consecutive drives, Parkersburg South took over on their own 19 yard-line with just a minute and some change left in the half, and proceeded to nickel-and-dime their way down the field. Gilkeson then delivered yet another strike to Boggs, who took it to the house for the 32-yard score. The Patriots executed their two-minute offense to perfection on the drive, putting together a six-play, 81-yard drive in just 38 seconds to put theem up 21-7 heading into the locker room.
Ripley came out strong in the second half, scoring on their first possession to pull to within eight after missing an extra point. Then the Vikings recovered a Patriots fumble on its first play of the possession, and looked as if all the momentum was with them. But the drive would stall, giving the Patriots some new life.
Both offenses began to roll later in the half, as each team took turns putting together long drives down the field, trading touchdown for touchdown.
Ripley pulled to within eight points once again with just under five minutes remaining in the game, but the Patriots took control of the ball and held on for the win.
Gilkeson and Ripley quarterback Trevor Tucker led their teams offensively on the night, as Gilkeson led his team with his arm, tossing for 254 yards and three touchdowns, and Tucker found room with both his arm and legs, combining for 278 total yards and two touchdowns.
Both teams are back in action next Friday as Parkersburg South will be at home against University (1-0) and Ripley will take on Point Pleasant (1-0). Kickoff for both games is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.