Football Bucs hope to try again this Friday night at Ripley

Assistant coach Wilson Harvey talks to his linemen during a recent Buckhannon-Upshur practice. The Bucs will attempt to open their season this Friday at Ripley after last week’s outing with Bridgeport was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns within the B-U program.

TENNERTON – The start of the Zach Davis era was put on hold last week due to COVID-19 issues with his team as the Buckhannon-Upshur-Bridgeport contest was canceled early Friday afternoon.

The Bucs and Davis hope to take the field Friday night at Ripley and are ready to put the disappointment of having their season opener canceled.

“It was disappointing,” said Davis of having the opener canceled. “The team was disappointed they couldn’t play. We are a resilient team though. They are ready to go this week. They are chomping at the bit to get back out on the field to play someone. They are ready to go.”

Davis said keeping the team upbeat and positive for this week’s game with Ripley was their main goal, especially after Wednesday’s practice was canceled because of the weather.

“It’s our job as coaches to make sure they are positive,” said Davis. “We know the decision to cancel the game last week was made in our best interest. We are just taking everything one day at a time. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Now we just have to move onto the next thing.”

That next thing just happens to be the Ripley Vikings, who are coming off of a 28-7 road loss to Brooke.

Ripley’s lone score came when junior quarterback Ty Stephens hooked up with junior wide out Wyatt Simon for a 41-yard touchdown reception, two Viking players that Davis was impressed with.

“Stephens is a good player,” noted Davis. “He has a good arm and is fast. And Simon, if he can get behind you, he is going to score. They have two tailbacks in junior Joey Ramsey and sophomore Brady Anderson that are tough and physical backs that will run you over.”

Ramsey is listed at 6-3, 205 pounds while Anderson is listed at 6-4, 240 pounds on the Vikings roster.

The Vikings managed just 108 yards of total offense against Brooke but were their own worst enemy at times suffering two fumbles and being flagged six times.

Defensively, the Vikings run a 3-3 stack.

“That has been their defense for a long time,” noted Davis. “That never changes. They give you a lot of man coverage and can hit you with some negative plays on defense, but hopefully we can bust a few big plays for touchdowns. That is what Brooke did in their game last week with Ripley.”

Davis said he expects a good battle with Ripley Friday night.

“They are a typical Ripley team that is physical and tough,” said Davis.  “I have nothing but respect for their program. Coach Stephen Sayre does a good job of getting their team ready and I am sure they will be ready for us Friday night.”

Davis said there are still a lot of moving parts to last week’s game in regard to whether or not it will be a forfeit loss for the Bucs.

“I’m not sure how all of that is working out,” stated Davis. “The SSAC said initially that if a team couldn’t play because of COVID-19, that it would go down as a forfeit if the game couldn’t be rescheduled. I think as more games are being canceled, they may change their minds on that. We are talking about different scenarios of being able to play Bridgeport. We will have to wait and see what happens.”

Following their road trip to Ripley this Friday, the Bucs will stay on the road next week and visit Philip Barbour. The Colts canceled their game with Clay tomorrow night because of COVID-19 issues within their team.

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