RIPLEY – With a team trying to navigate through COVID-19 issues and several players not dressing, it was a rough start and a rough first half to the season for first-year head coach Zach Davis and his Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers.
The Bucs made the long trip to Ripley and trailed early 21-0 before and lost a 31-13 decision, despite seeing their play improve in the second half.
The Bucs lost a yard on their first possession and punted it away to Ripley who took over at the B-U 45-yard line.
Ripley’s Brady Anderson had the game’s first score with a short one-yard run with 8:23 showing on the first-quarter clock.
Kaitlyn Lawrence’s kick was good to treat Ripley to a 7-0 lead.
The two teams traded possessions and then the Bucs fumbled the ball away on the center-quarterback exchange on their third series as Ripley took over at the B-U 33-yard line.
Joey Ramsey capped off the 33-yard drive with a nine-yard run over the left side for the score and Carter Cochran’s point-after kick was good giving the Vikings a 14-0 lead.
The Bucs had to punt the ball away on their next possession.
Starting at midfield, Ripley’s Anderson finished off the Viking drive with a four-yard run with 10:11 left in the second quarter. Lawrence’s kick was good as Ripley moved out to a 21-0 lead.
The Bucs caught a break when they recovered a Ripley fumble at their own 33-yard line.
On the first play of the drive, Savion Farmer went down the left side for 67 yards and the score.
Cameron Zuliani’s kick made it a 21-7 contest.
Ripley put up their fourth touchdown of the game with 1:37 remaining in the half when Anderson ran it up the middle for eight yards and the score.
Cochran’s kick was good as the Ripley took a 28-7 lead into the break.
Ripley took the opening second half kickoff and managed three points out of it on a 21-yard field goal from Lawrence with 7:32 showing on the third-quarter clock.
The Bucs answered with a 72-yard drive that ended on a one-yard plunge by quarterback Bryson Johnston with 2:33 on the third-quarter clock.
Farmer helped set up the score with another 60 plus yard run on the drive.
Following a penalty on the point-after kick, the kick was blocked leaving the Bucs down 31-13.
They forced a Ripley punt and on their next drive, and moved the ball all the way down to the Ripley 13-yard line, but the drive stalled out as they turned the ball over on downs.
Buckhannon-Upshur had to punt the ball away on their final drive.
The Bucs racked up 242 yards getting 232 yards on the ground and 10 through the air.
The Bucs will visit Philip Barbour next week.
The Colts have yet to play a game as their bye week was week one and they had to cancel their game with Clay County last night.
Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. for the Big 10 Conference game.
Buckhannon-Upshur 0 7 6 0 – 13
Ripley 14 14 3 0 – 31
Ripley – Brady Anderson, 1-yard run (Kaitlyn Lawrence kick)
Ripley – Joey Ramsey, 9-yard run (Carter Cochran kick)
Ripley – Anderson, 4-yard run (Lawrence kick)
Buckhannon-Upshur – Savion Farmer, 67-yard run (Cameron Zuliani kick)
Ripley – Anderson, 8-yard run (Cochran kick)
Ripley – Lawrence, 21-yard field goal
Buckhannon-Upshur – Bryson Johnston, 1-yard run (kick blocked)