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Fall Sports Wrap - Bruins See League Action On Several Fronts
Action is heating up for Riverbank High athletes this fall as they battle their way through the heart of Trans-Valley League and Valley Foothill League (girls golf) schedules. Following is a summary of recent conference action.


The 2012 season may go down as one of the best years for Trans-Valley League football, top-to-bottom in the conference standings.

That was evident on Friday, when the three top teams in the league standings were seriously tested by the three teams at the bottom.

Hughson (0-2 TVL, 3-3 overall) led Ripon (3-0, 7-0) 27-20 in the third quarter, but ultimately fell to the unbeaten Indians 35-27. Elsewhere, Orestimba (1-2, 5-2) challenged Escalon (2-1, 5-2) with 28 points scored and 330 rushing yards from a single ball carrier (Steven Machado), but allowed two touchdowns a quarter and fell 56-28.

Riverbank (0-2, 2-4) joined the fray with a 6-3 lead over 2011 Sac-Joaquin Section champions, Hilmar (2-1, 6-1), but a 13-6 deficit at the half and 20-6 Hilmar advantage after three periods proved to put the contest out of reach when the Yellowjackets scored twice and landed a safety in the fourth.

Riverbank was in the contest for three quarters, but struggled to repeat the touchdown they landed on the game's first drive and couldn't keep pace with Hilmar as players left the game with injuries. By the final whistle, Riverbank had lost quarterback Angel Torres, starting guards Ryan Stiner, Oscar Rodriguez and nose tackle Jacob Palomino to injuries.

The Bruins amassed 100 rushing yards and 120 passing yards. Thirty of those passing yards came from runner Antonio Perez (also a pitcher on the baseball team), who hurled a deceptive halfback pass to Christian Torres for the first touchdown of the game. Perez, Fabian Arana and Chad Oliver rallied to support the play with terrific defense, but a Hilmar team that has outscored opponents 220-106 would not be held back forever.

"I was very proud of how we played defensively," Riverbank coach James Oliver said. "Offensively we threw the ball well, but once Angel went down we could not get things going."

Oliver did credit backup quarterback Freddie Capas for an admirable game at the helm. He said Capas showed a gutty performance to give Riverbank's offense some inspiration.

"To our credit, we never quit," Oliver said. "Our defense is playing at TVL level and we have been in every game at halftime.

"Offensively we have got to keep working and figuring out ways to get in the end zone."

The Bruins continue the torrid conference schedule with Modesto Christian (1-1, 3-3) on Friday. The Crusaders stunned Hilmar in a 32-21 victory on Sept. 21, but regressed the following week during a 52-0 landslide loss to Ripon. Modesto Christian had a week to prepare for Riverbank, as Oct. 5 was their bye.

Girls Golf

The Lady Bruins proved a four-stroke victory over Ripon on the road (Sept. 11) was no fluke by upending the Indians 170-182 on Thursday at the Escalon Golf Course. The Bruins overcame medalist honors by the Indians to play better on a course that Ripon coach Eric Dambrosio said took the visiting team by surprise.

"The greens were really fast out there," Dambrosio said. "They had just cut them and aerated them and they were a lot faster than we expected."

Since Riverbank had a bye on Oct. 2, the Lady Bruins are tied with Ripon at 4-6 (fourth) in the Valley Foothill League. Bret Harte (10-0) and Escalon (9-1) lead the conference while Ripon Christian (beat Riverbank by only 10 combined strokes in two matches) sits in third at 6-4.

Ripon played Linden (1-9) on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time. The Bruins close league with host Bret Harte on Thursday.

Boys Soccer

The Bruins stayed atop the league standings with a sharp 4-1 victory over Escalon. The Cougars packed players into their own defensive half of the field, but couldn't stop a barrage of 39 Bruin shots on goal and three scores in the first half, including a score the first five minutes and one just before halftime.

Rodrigo Quintero, Martin Pantoja, Oscar Jimenez and Armando Rodriguez all scored for the Bruins while Eduardo Ramirez landed two assists.

The win advances the Bruins to 5-0 in the Trans Valley League.

The Bruins hosted Orestimba on Monday and Hughson on Tuesday, though results of those games were not available at press time. The team is at third-place Hilmar 2-2-2 today, Oct. 10.


A terrific preseason has given way to Trans-Valley League devastation for Riverbank High's varsity volleyball team. The Lady Bruins slipped to Hughson in four games on Oct. 2 and allowed Modesto Christian to claim a 3-0 win on Oct. 4.

The losses leave Riverbank at a disappointing 0-6 mark in conference play after an incredible 9-0 start to the preseason. The team was at Escalon on Oct. 9, though results were not available at press time. The Bruins host Orestimba on Thursday.