By NEMS Daily Journal
RIPLEY – Two area high school football teams struggling in 2010 met Friday night, and it was Baldwyn that gained some relief.
Tyler Estes ran for 160 yards – 130 after halftime – and three touchdowns to lead the Bearcats to a 26-13 win.
Baldwyn also got 89 rushing yards from Bradley Boose and finished with 260 yards on the ground.
For all the running success, the Bearcats’ first score was set up by a 37-yard pass from Walker Wildmon to Reggie Patterson. Estes got the point on a 4-yard run.
Both Baldwyn and Ripley last won on opening night. The Bearcats (2-4) snapped a four-game losing streak, while Ripley (1-5) dropped its fifth in a row. The Tigers haven’t won since taking a 13-12 win over North Panola in the season’s first game.
The teams played through a second-half rain storm and matched one another score for score until Baldwyn pulled away in the fourth quarter. Estes scored twice from inside the 10 on runs of 5 and 7 yards.
Baldwyn coach Michael Gray was pleased with his team’s execution.
“We stayed with our game plan. The quarterback did a good job of running inside veer and we used a different wrinkle that we worked on this week. That allowed us to get to the corner and I thought our guys did a good job of blocking on the corner. We were able to kick out and hit a seam,” he said.
Wildmon finish 5 for 11 for 97 yards passing.
Ripley was still in the game with roughly 11 minutes remaining but fumbled, and Baldwyn cashed in with Estes’ final score coming with 10 minutes, 55 seconds remaining.
Ripley drew within 7-6 in the first quarter on an 8-yard run by Tony Hernandez, but the extra point was no good.
The Tigers took a brief lead in the third quarter on a 76-yard run by Devin Jones and a Hernandez PAT. It was 13-7, but Baldwyn went back in front less than two minutes later when Boose broke loose and scampered 73 yards.
Ripley rushed for 254 yards but did not gain a single passing yard.
The win lets Baldwyn begin an October run of division games with momentum. The Bearcats finish out the season with five straight within Division 1-2A starting next week at Calhoun City.
“Calhoun City has been one of the top teams in 2A, but we have owned this division for the last five years,” Gray said. “We hope this boosts our confidence and gives us a big shot in the arm.”