Tuscaloosa, Ala.--Senior quarterback Ramsey Rigby knows all about winning. The son of Elba Head Coach Ed Rigby and Troy women’s basketball Coach Chanda Rigby, he knows what it takes to get the job done. On Friday all that teaching came to the forefront as he earned MVP honors in the Class 2A title game as the Tigers got revenge on Fyffe for last year’s loss with a 36-22 victory at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Completing 3-5 passes for 49 yards and adding 62 yards rushing and two touchdowns on eight carries, Rigby was part of an Elba rushing attack that churned out 307 yards. In a game featuring just 14 total pass attempts that was enough to get the win and leave Rigby a winner in his last high school game.
“It means everything to me,” Rigby said of the win. “If I would have gone out without it something probably would have been missing for the rest of my life. I have already lost one before and I’ve never heard of anybody going to two back-to-back and losing both of them. That would be rough.
“This whole week it just seemed like there was this thing in the back of my mind, but as a competitor and a winner you just shut it out,” he added. “You can’t listen to any of that. My whole team, I know we were all thinking about it, but we all shut out the fact that we could lose again. We just kept playing and were playing a tremendous team again.”
Early on the game was a grind-it-out affair as Fyffe took the opening kickoff and went on an 11-play march that covered 63 yards before Dilan Kilpatrick covered the last yard for the touchdown. It was the 35th touchdown of the season for the talented junior running back who finished the game with 117 yards and three scores on 31 carries.
That drive took over five minutes off the clock and when Elba got the ball for the first time they took up almost the rest of the first quarter. Going 58 yards in 12 plays the Tigers failed to score from a first and goal situation, turning the ball back over to the Red Devils. Fyffe would hold the lead until later in the second quarter when Elba took the lead on a Rigby five-yard touchdown run followed by a two-point attempted pass that bounced off the hands of a receiver right into the hands of Troy offensive line commitment Blaine Hudson. He spun his way into the end zone to give Elba the 8-7 lead, one the Tigers would never relinquish.
Rigby’s second touchdown of the game came on the next drive, this one from 20 yards out, as Elba once again secured the two-point conversion to go in front 16-7. Fyffe managed to cut into the lead with another Kilpatrick touchdown later in the second quarter before Elba answered to take a 24-14 lead into intermission. This time it was Stefan Caldwell doing the damage with a 15-yard run with just 27 seconds left in the half.
The second half would be much of the same as Kilpatrick’s third touchdown brought Fyffe back to within two, but Caldwell and Elba had the answer at every turn. His second touchdown put the Tigers back in front by eight before Blake Edwards put the game away with a 36-yard run with just 3:14 left.
Now with his high school football career done Rigby turns his attention to the future, one that right now has him enrolling early as a walk-on at Auburn. While that’s something he’s excited about he said it’s not a done deal because there are other possible options for him to look into.
“Within these next two weeks I’m just going to weigh out all my opportunities college-wise, but at the moment I’m thinking Auburn,” Rigby said. “People have been asking me for weeks what it’s like to be going to Auburn, but I was never thinking about that these last 15 weeks I was only thinking about winning a state title. That’s what you have to do in life, take one thing at a time, and it worked out for me. I have these next few weeks just to kind of sit back and see some different things and go on visits. For right now it’s War Eagle.”
An early graduate, Rigby said Troy has offered as has Holmes (Miss.) Community College.