CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When Ripley junior Trevor Tucker takes the football field, opposing defensive coordinators make a choice: load against the run or defend the pass.
Tucker, the Vikings' dual-threat starting quarterback, possesses skills that pose a conundrum for opponents, with his ability to both run and pass with equal effectiveness. Tucker will next look to make the most of his talents at George Washington 7:30 p.m. Friday.
"He's a dual threat," Ripley Coach Dave Tennant said of Tucker "That's definitely something that defensive coordinators should worry about.
"They decide what they want to take away. I'm confident and our offensive coordinator is confident that whatever they do try to take away, we're comfortable we can attack in various other ways. Having (Tucker) running the offense is definitely a big key to our success now and our success in the future."
Ripley (2-6) opened the season with five straight losses, but has won two of its last three as Tucker continues to lead the Vikings. For the season, Tucker has completed 59 of 130 pass attempts for 1,094 yards, with 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. On the ground, he's carried 130 times for 873 yards, including eight touchdowns.
"If I didn't play quarterback, I would play running back," Tucker said. "I love to throw the ball and I love to run. I've always liked to run the ball, but I wasn't allowed to play until seventh grade and I always played quarterback."
Tucker said he takes great pride in his contributions, especially after missing the majority of last season to injury. In an early-season walk-through practice, Tucker planted his right foot and tore the anterior cruciate ligament, as well as meniscus, in his right knee. Tucker missed the rest of the 2012 season and worked throughout the summer to rehab.
Though he missed his opportunities on the gridiron, Tucker said he made the most of his time away from the field.
"I got to sit up in the press box with the offensive coordinator last year and watch the game unfold," he said. "That helped me realize coverages, schemes up front with the defense. That helped me a lot certainly."
In addition to pure physical ability, Tennant said Tucker displays great knowledge of the game.
"He understands his role of reading the defense and he runs our attack very well, and he makes a lot of the right, good reads, too," Tennant said. "Football IQ, he's definitely one of the better ball players I've had in my coaching career.