By NEMS Daily Journal
FULTON – Quarterback Maikhail Miller threw a touchdown pass and ran for two more to lead Itawamba AHS to a 28-13 win over Ripley in area high school football action Friday night.
The Indians (2-3) won for the second time this season, running out to a 22-7 halftime lead then putting the game in the hands of their defense.
Miller was 6 for 8 passing for 94 yards, and he and teammate Charles Moore each rushed for 110 yards.
“It’s a luxury to have (Miller) because he can run and he can throw. He does a lot of
things for us. He gives up options, but we have those guys up front blocking.
They do a good job. They’ve made a lot of improvement so they should get some
credit too,” IAHS coach Ashley Kuhn said.
IAHS totaled 236 rushing yards.
Miller, an Ole Miss commitment, put IAHS on the board with a 10-yard run in the first quarter. He added the PAT for a 7-0 lead, and it stood that way when the period ended.
Ripley tied the game early in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Austin Hamilton and the ensuing extra point.
But the Indians asserted themselves. Miller passed 55-yards to Jeremy Ruff, then completed a 2-point pass to Nathan Moore.
Minutes later IAHS was in business again, inside the Tigers’ 10-yard line where Miller ran in from 8 yards away.
Ripley drew to within nine points when Devin Jones scored on a 13-yard run. The kick failed, and the Tigers (1-4) didn’t light the scoreboard again.
Miller and the Indians chewed up clock, and put the game on ice in the fourth quarter when Moore score on a 26-yard run.
Jones was Ripley’s workhorse with 93 yards on 18 carries. Tony Hernandez had 100 yards on 14 attempts, 60 of those yards coming on the Tigers’ first offensive play.
A Ripley team transitioning with a new coaching staff has struggled in the first half of the season, but there were signs of progress for the Tigers, value in defeat.
“It’s a moral victory. Some people wouldn’t count it as a moral victory, but it is. The offensive line played their tails off tonight,” Ripley assistant coach Quess Hood said. “We didn’t get every block, but they played as hard as they have all year. We had some backs to step up tonight. Devin Jones ran as hard as he’s run all year. We got better as a football team tonight. Now we just have to keep it going.”
Like Hood, Kuhn wants to see the effects of the game carry into next week and beyond.
The IAHS coach believes the win could be a launching point to bigger things for the Indians.
“This win was big for us. We were playing at home and we needed to get this win.
I don’t think we played our best game, but any win at this point is big–to help
our confidence. Now we just have to keep winning,” he said.
Ripley returns home next week to face the Baldwyn Bearcats. IAHS remains at home to take on Corinth.