RAVENSWOOD - Jackson County rivals Ripley and Ravenswood have met on the gridiron to contest for The Hatchet for eight decades. However, Friday night's contest at Flinn Field saw a first in the series as the game's outcome needed to go into an extra period before the visiting Vikings pulled out a 17-16 win thanks to a blocked extra point from junior linebacker Nathan Tucker.
"What a game," said Ripley head coach Jimmy Frashier. "My land, what a game. They made some plays and we didn't. But, the kids overcame a lot of adversity and pulled out it out when they had too."
The win evened the Vikings mark at 5-5 on the season while the setback-Ravenswoods' eighth straight-sent the snake-bitten Red Devils into the offseason with a 2-8 mark.
"Early in the game we were playing with too much adrenaline and kept shooting ourselves in the foot," continued Frashier. "Once we were able to settle the kids down, we were able to move the ball and make some plays of our own."
The teams battled to a 3-3 tie after the game's first 12 minutes as Ravenswood lit up the scoreboard first on a 43-yard Mason Carte field goal only to have the Vikings knot the game at 3 when Easton Perry connected on a 27-yard field goal five minutes later.
Ripley took advantage of a lapse in the Red Devils' secondary with 8 1/2 minutes remaining until the intermission when sophomore quarterback Jake Martin found junior Kade Harrison open for a 57-yard scoring strike with 8:31 showing on the clock. Perry's successful PAT gave the visitors a 10-3 lead.
A lead that appeared to be just enough as Ravenswood continued to knock on the door, but couldn't put the ball into the end zone until the final six minutes of the game.
Taking over at its own 46 after a fourth-and-10 pass from Martin to Harrison fell incomplete, the Red Devils needed only one play to claw themselves back into the game.
Junior running back Devon Crews, who finished with 166 yards on 27 carries, took the handoff from Heath Burgess, broke over the left side of the line and raced untouched down the home sideline for the touchdown. Carte, who earlier had a 31-yard field goal attempt blocked, booted the PAT through the uprights to tie the score with 5:53 left in the game.
The senior placekicker would be back onto the field five minutes later to attempt a game-winning, 46-yard field goal. But, the attempt landed short to send the game into an extra period.
Ripley scored first on a 16-yard Martin to Harrison pass with Perry connecting on the PAT, giving the Vikings a 17-10 advantage.
Ravenswood scored five plays later when Crews crashed over from 4 yards out to slice the margin to one, 17-16. The rest is history.