The Hatchie River border war that is the heated rivalry in every sport between the Ripley Tigers and the Covington Chargers saw the Chargers take no prisoners in the latest skirmish, a 42-7 region win at Tiny Knee Stadium on Friday night.

The CHS (4-1 overall, 2-0 Region 7-3A) defense set the tone, allowing the Tigers (3-2, 1-1) just 64 yards of offense before giving way to the second-teamers and junior varsity midway through the third period.

Ripley was held to 132 rushing yards and a late touchdown on 42 carries and they lost a yard completing 1 of 2 passes.


“We flew to the ball and delivered some licks tonight,” said Covington head coach J.R. Kirby. “We have to clean up our act. A pair of unnecessary penalties for mouthing off cost us 30 yards.”

Fans have talked and talked about more of a passing element in the Covington offense. They got their wish Friday night.

It wasn’t an aerial barrage, but it was efficient. Braden Gover had three attempts. Two found their mark. The first was a 34-yard, fourth-and-eight scoring strike to Blake Travis, who hauled it in in double coverage just inside the back line of end zone. The second grab came on a first and 10 from the Charger 23. Gover hit Jamarion Dowell in stride at about the CHS 40 and Dowell did the rest, eluding at least three would-be tacklers en route to a 77-yard score.

“We pretty much played a complete game,” Kirby said. “We had the ball six times and scored each time.”

Dowell added 131 rushing yards and 2 TDs on 14 carries for a 208-yard, three-TD night. He has gained 629 yards and scored 12 TDs through five games.

The other half of the backfield juggernaut, Skylan Smith, rushed 16 times for 98 yards and 2 TDs. For the season, he has 606 rushing yards and 10 TDs to his credit.

Covington is off Friday night before hosting Dyersburg Sept. 30 in another Region 7-3A game.

Steve Holt
Author: Steve Holt