ECRU – The Ripley Tigers weren’t as sharp as they were in their season opener, but they were just as dominant.
Friday night on the road against the North Pontotoc Vikings, the Tigers went more run than pass, controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and won 46-27.
Ripley (2-0), which opened the game with a 97-yard kickoff return by John Austin Moore, scored on just three of their first nine possessions, but they stopped North Pontotoc on seven of its eight.
The Tigers outgained the Vikings 312-138 in the first half. They got two receiving touchdowns from junior receiver Isaiah Howard, who finished the night with eight catches for 173 yards to set another single-game receiving record for the Tigers.
Christian Johnson added a 27-yard run as the Tigers rushed for 141 yards in the first half.
They led 27-13 at intermission despite turning the ball over three times. They also had two scores called back.
“We had a weird look. I don’t know it that was because it was the first road game or coming off a big win,” Ripley coach Chad Cook said. “It wasn’t an effort thing. It was an execution thing.”
Ripley righted the ship in the second half, scoring on two of three possessions in the third quarter and totaling 458 total yards in three quarter and no turnovers. A 13-yard run by Antonio Mullins and a 5-yard run by Sedabris Boyd as the third quarter clock expired made it 40-19.
“We came back and made the plays in the second half, but I want us to be perfect,” added Cook. “We can’t be complacent.”
The Ripley defense limited North Pontotoc (0-2) to 239 total yards. They got a 55-yard fumble return for a TD to tie the game at 7-7 midway through the first quarter. Marcus Green, a Louisiana-Monroe commit, had two scores, a 58-yard screen pass from Trey Jolly in the first half and a 46-yard TD run in the fourth.
Ripley quarterback Dalton James finished the night 12 for 17 for 215 yards and two TDs.