WHO: Greenbrier East (0-6) at Ripley (1-6)
WHERE: Ripley High School
WHEN: 7:30 PM
LAST WEEK: GE (lost to Oak Hill 40-6) Ripley (defeated St. Albans 41-14)
ABOUT THE OPPONENT:
The Ripley Vikings are a Class AAA school in Jackson County and like the Spartans, are a young football team with just nine seniors on the roster. Ripley is coached by Stephen Sayre who is in his 16th year at the school and fourth as a head coach. The Vikings are averaging just 10 points per game and their defense is allowing 32.5.
Two young, struggling football teams will meet this week in a gridiron battle when the Greenbrier East Spartans head to Ripley for a bout with the Vikings. The Spartans are still searching for that illustrious first victory, and honestly, it has a great chance to come this Friday night.
Ripley just picked up their first win last week over St. Albans, but the Red Dragons are also winless and have allowed over 80 points in a game twice this season. Ripley does not have a high-powered, high-flying offense so the Spartan defense should be able to get off the field frequently and allow their own offense to put points on the board.
PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR RIPLEY:
QB- Tyson Pritt
RB- Noah Casto- 214 yards rushing last week vs. St. Albans
WR- Parker Boyd
RB- Michael Vaughn
There are not many public stats available for the Vikings which tells me one thing—the coaches are not thrilled about reporting many of them due to the teams struggles.
However, Pritt is a capable quarterback that can throw it when he has time, and he can run it if needed. The problem with that is the Vikings offensive line is young and struggles some. Ripley gained only 73 total yards and allowed five sacks in their season opener against Brooke, but they are playing better as evidenced by their 41-point outburst last week. Casto is their main offensive weapon on the ground. His 214 yards last week were by far a season-high for a Ripley player this season. Boyd can get behind the defense if defenses lose track of him so the Spartans secondary will need to keep an eye on him while also coming up in run support when Casto takes a handoff.
PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR THE SPARTANS:
RB- Nate Suttle- 255 rush yds, 197 rec., 4 total TD
TE- Grant Burdette- 26 rec, 330 yds, TD
WR- Kaden Stone- 14 rec, 184 yds, 3 TD
WR- Abram Wickline- 12 rec, 147 yds, TD
LB- Carter Hamilton
LB- Weston Pence
DL- Aiden Cole
DL- Sam Wright
KEYS TO THE GAME FOR THE SPARTANS:
This week for East, it’s simple: Shut down Casto and pressure the quarterback, Pritt. The Ripley offense is so young and has not experienced success yet outside of last week’s win over the Red Dragons. Now, that could give them some momentum coming into this game, so East needs a fast start to take that momentum away early.
There will be some big holes for Suttle to run though. The Vikings have played better lately, and only lost to Oak Hill 13-10 two weeks ago, a team that beat East 40-6, but this is an even matchup from the youth standpoint and their records so far. I’m sticking with the thought that a fast start will help East tremendously find their first win of 2023, although it may be a low-scoring affair.
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