TENNNERTON – The Buckhannon-Upshur football Buccaneers will look to rebound tonight against the Ripley Vikings after suffering a 56-14 setback to No. 2 Fairmont Senior last week.
“The team has reacted very well to the loss,” remarked Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Duane Stoeckle. “The seniors and their leadership have really stepped up. They have a great attitude and they understand that was just one game. We have nine more ahead of us. We control our entire destiny. Whatever we want to do this year is still in our hands. Fairmont Senior is a cut above anyone else we play and I fully expect them to win it all again this year.”
Ripley also had a tough opener as they dropped a 49-18 contest to No. 9 Parkersburg South.
Both teams will be looking avoid an 0-2 start.
“I think Ripley and Buckhannon are a lot alike,” stated Stoeckle. “The same type of city and the type of players. Size-wise they are much more comparable to us. I think we will be able to run our offense and defense and do somethings. I think it will come down to who executes the best.”
Ripley likes to throw multiple looks at their opposing defenses running out of the I, the flex bone and some tight end wing.
Ripley is led by their backfield with senior Dalton Myers and junior fullback Kadin Hall.
“Myers is a quick back that they like to get outside and run some counters with while Hull does a nice job of kicking it out and he can also get them the tough yards,” said Stoeckle.
Myers ran for 71 yards on 27 carries against Parkersburg South while Hall had 16 yards on four tries.
Quarterbacking Ripley will be senior Noah Westfall.
“He is more of a runner than passer but he hit did hit a couple of nice passes against Parkersburg South,” Stoeckle noted. “He can make you miss. If you get a pass rush on him and miss him, he is going to take off and get some yards.”
Westfall completed four of 10 passes for 69 yards last week and kept it 12 times for 28 yards.
Westfall’s favorite target last week was senior Camron Ramsey who caught two passes for 47 yards.
Defensively, the Vikings run a 3-3 stack.
“It’s our old defense,” noted Stoeckle. “It will be a different look than what Fairmont Senior gave us. Ripley likes to blitz a lot.”
For the Bucs, they hope to improve on their offensive production which saw them amass just 121 yards against Fairmont Senior.
The Bucs managed just 84 on the ground but that number is skewed just a bit because of four Fairmont Senior sacks and a botched snap.
“We are always going to try and run the ball,” said Stoeckle. “Why we are doing that we hope we can get some passes in with Ryan Strader and some of good receivers. We had some positive running plays, there were some good things there, but we were just overmatched up front.”
Stoeckle believes if his Bucs continue to give a solid effort good things will come their way.
“Our biggest thing is we still have to believe,” remarked Stoeckle. “There strength is running the ball. If we can get them out of their game and force them to throw some, and make our tackles, we will be alright.”
Buckhannon-Upshur and Ripley will kick-off their non-conference affair at 7:30 p.m.