The Greenbrier East Spartans (4-2) are coming off a perplexing 23-3 loss to the Oak Hill Red Devils last Friday and this week will look to rebound when they hit the road again, this time to Ripley to take on the Vikings.
The two teams were scheduled to meet last season, but Covid-19 issues canceled that contest so this year’s meeting will have a little extra flare.
The Vikings have struggled so far this season. They are just 1-6 with their most recent loss to St. Albans by a score of 26-14. In that one, lightning delayed the kickoff until 9:30 PM so Ripley was on the field until around midnight.
Ripley’s offense is basically a two-man show. Brady Anderson and Joey Ramsey are the names fans will hear the most and for good reason. Anderson had three touchdown runs in their lone win, which came against Buckhannon-Upshur. The Spartans also beat Buckhannon 56-14. The other common opponent is Oak Hill, who defeated Ripley 47-26 and beat the Spartans 23-3 as stated above.
Ramsey had 98 yards on 22 carries against St. Albans and had touchdowns against the Red Devils and B-U.
For the season, the Vikings are averaging 17.1 points per game. They are allowing 34.5 points which on paper bodes well for the Spartans.
After the subpar performance against Oak Hill, Spartan coach Ray Lee said, “Sometimes you need to lose games like this to get your team refocused.”
That refocus has come in practice this week as East knows to reach their goal of the state playoffs, beating Ripley is a must.
Ian Cline missed a game a couple of weeks ago against Mingo Central, but returned last week and was one of the few bright spots on the offense. He ran for 119 yards and had 53 more receiving. For the season, he has run for 636 yards and four TD’s.
East had gotten a big boost in the last two games from Craig Barnhouse. Filling in for the injured starter at tight end, Braden Bragg, Barnhouse now has five catches for 79 yards and is making contributions in other areas as well.
Bryson Ormsbee is still the teams’ reception leader and has 16 catches for 183 yards and four touchdowns.
Levi Wagner leads the East defense with two interceptions, but Ripley’s methodical offense should not provide too much pressure on the Spartans’ defensive backfield.
The defensive line and linebackers should make big plays all night.
The Spartans are not happy with their performance last week. With their ability in the last several years to bounce back from disappointment, look for East to get up on the Vikings early and cruise to an easy victory.
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