The Ripley Tigers will kick off their 2018 football season against IAHS Indians out of Fulton this Friday at 7. The Tigers first home game is a planned “white out” where all fans are encouraged to wear white. The Tigers lost at IAHS last season 28-7. The Tigers lost 12 seniors from last years squad while Itawamba lost 18 from their 10-3 squad.
New Look Offense
The Tigers were heavily reliant on the run game last year, rushing for over 2200 yards while passing for under 1000. Look for those numbers to achieve more balance this year with the addition of transfer quarterback Tristan Vandiver. That is good news for their prospects in this game.
The addition of Vandiver allows last years quarterback Trey Blanchard to move to his more natural position as a wide receiver. Couple the physical abilities of Blanchard with speedy receiver Jey Johnson along with between the tackle running of Jamal Brooks and the Tiger offense can keep teams off balance.
The success of the Tigers in this game may rely on the ability to keep the Indians talented playmakers Jaxon Orr and Ike Chandler contained.
The good news for the Tigers is their aggressive, physical style has the ability to do just that.
Brooks and Quez Edgeston will patrol the middle of the field from their linebacker positions. They both are capable of bone crushing hits.
In the defensive secondary, Blanchard, Johnson and Landis Penro will be relied upon to contain the Indians arial attack.
The most important thing for the Tigers will be disrupting IAHS at the line of scrimmage. Ripley will rely on talented defensive lineman Tino Rainer in that regard.
Tigers and coach Sam Hathorn start off with a big victory over a talented team from Itawamba.