Ripley survived a heavy dose of Ethan Clark in a 39-22 win over Nitro on Friday at Underwood Field.
Both teams showed balanced attacks, but with very different strategies.
For Ripley, it was a mix of 192 yards rushing and 172 yards passing. For Nitro, however, mixing it up only meant whether it was going to be Ethan Clark, by pass or by run.
The junior quarterback threw 260 yards while rushing for 86. In fact, Clark either threw or rushed on 69 of Nitro's 73 offensive plays.
After allowing 78 points a week ago in a loss at Hurricane, Coach John Painter said it was time to bank on his most talented player.
"We're very young and inexperienced," Painter said. "The kids were really down after that loss. I knew we had to ride somebody. He's our best athlete and I wanted to put the ball in his hands."
That he did.
Clark actually gained 151 yards on the ground, but was stopped for 65 yards in losses for a net of 86 on 34 carries. The only other rushing attempt for the Wildcats resulted in a 6-yard loss. Meanwhile, he put up J.R. House-like passing numbers, completing 19 of 35 attempts for 260 yards and three scores. The Viking defense got to him for eight sacks for minus 50 yards.