Football Bucs look to play better against Ripley in home opener Friday night

TENNERTON – Two teams looking to right the ship after tough week ones will meet Friday night when the Buckhannon-Upshur Buccaneers host the Ripley Vikings at Freal “Red” Crites Memorial Stadium.

Kick-off is slated for 7:30 p.m.

The Bucs are coming off a 63-7 loss to No. 4 Bridgeport while Ripley lost an unranked Brooke team at home by a 49-6 score.

Buckhannon-Upshur head coach Zach Davis said he will use last week’s loss as a learning tool for his team.

“There is a lot of learning to be done from last week’s game,” noted Davis. “We learned stuff from Bridgeport too. How they came off the ball, how they read their defensive keys. That is stuff we teach in practice, but Bridgeport is just at a different level. They are impressive. We need to learn to a degree from what they did to us. We need to take those things and learn from them. Bridgeport is just on a different level than we are at the moment, but it was a good learning experience.”

Davis said that last week’s game didn’t diminish the enthusiasm his team still has for the season.

“Our guys are ready to go,” said Davis. “They are ready to play Ripley. We have had a good week of practice. We got through Bridgeport pretty healthy and now we are ready to play the rest of our season and that starts with Ripley Friday night. It is good to be home. We have a great place to play and a great atmosphere. Our guys enjoy playing at home.”

Last year, the Bucs opened their season with Ripley taking a COVID ravaged team down south and came away with a 31-13 loss. It was Ripley’s only win of the season. The game was also notable as during the Ripley steam of the game, the Viking announcers were heard on a hot mic saying disparaging things about the B-U team.

“All of that was mentioned in our team meeting on Monday,” remarked Davis. “We went down there missing eight starters and we know about the disrespect. We have not forgotten that. It has been a motivating factor for us.”

Ripley managed just 131 yards of total offense in their loss to Brooke, but Davis expects the Vikings will be ready for his Bucs this Friday.

“They are a young team this year and I think they lost a couple of guys that transferred out,” noted Davis. “I have nothing but respect for the job that coach Stephen Sayre is doing. He does a great job with his team. They will be tough and play physical despite their talent level. It will be a good match-up for us. They don’t have anyone that truly stands out, but they just play good team football. I expect them to play hard and I expect us to match that. Both teams will want to prove themselves Friday night.”

The Bucs will have starting quarterback Ian Donnen back in the line-up for Ripley as he missed the opener with an injury.

“Having Ian back is great,” said Davis. “He played really well in our scrimmages and practices. He is a very vocal leader for us. I thought our freshman quarterback Dawson Tenney played well last week. We our blessed to have two guys we can turn to at the quarterback position.”

Davis said for B-U to be successful against Ripley they need to run the football.

“We hang our hat on our running game,” said Davis. “We have to get that going. We need to stop Ripley’s run game and not give up any big plays.”

Following Friday’s game, the Bucs will host Philip Barbour next Friday at 7 p.m.

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