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Bruin football falls to Modesto Christian
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The Bruin varsity football team suffered a 28-14 loss to Modesto Christian on Friday, Oct. 1, in a showdown for first-place in the Southern League.

"It was a real big game," said head coach Matt Elkins. "We played pretty well, we just made too many key mistakes at times."

Modesto Christian (4-0 overall, 3-0 SL) struck first on a Beau Malone five-yard run in the first quarter. But Riverbank High (2-2 overall, 2-1 SL) struck back with quarterback Daniel DeCroix's 2-yard touchdown run later in the quarter to pull within 7-6.

The Crusaders took an eight-point halftime lead, however, when quarterback Michael Porter found Jamie Crist for a 22-yard touchdown reception. Still, Porter passed for just 90 yards on the night and Riverbank held an MC offense that was averaging 46 points a game to just 28.

"We contained probably the best quarterback in the valley," Elkins said.

Riverbank pulled even with a 70-yard third-quarter touchdown run by fullback Jon Blount to tie the score at 14, and the fans were thinking of a victory. The Crusaders were backed up with a 3rd-and-25 from the Riverbank 39-yard-line.

Modesto Christian responded when Ruben Torres had a clutch 39-yard touchdown reception from Porter with seven seconds left in the quarter.

MC then put the game away in the fourth quarter on a one-yard quarterback keeper by Porter for the final score of 28-14, Modesto Christian.

"We were in a position to win the game against an undefeated football team, so that's pretty good," Elkins said. "We've just got to try to get better."

Modesto Christian also piled up 291 yards of rushing yards, including 128 from Jeremy Gallo. For Riverbank, DeCroix played valiantly but threw three interceptions against the tough Crusader defense.

Ralphie Stevens had a good game defensively for Riverbank, as did Michael Dougherty at wide receiver. Dougherty had more than 100 yards receiving against Modesto Christian, and has 17 catches in just four games.

"He's just been a real standout kid," Elkins said. "He's been one of our leaders."

After the game, Riverbank also set a goal of meeting Modesto Christian again - in the playoffs, when it counts. But the Bruins still plan to take the schedule one game at a time.

"We've been playing for five weeks," Elkins said. "Our kids have gotten better every week, and that's all I can ask for."

The JV football team also lost to Modesto Christian, 22-14.