Ripon’s 21-game Trans-Valley League winning streak came to a halt last week against Hilmar, but that didn’t faze the Indians on Friday night.
Ripon (4-1 TVL, 8-1 overall) kept its focus on the postseason and bounced back with a 62-7 victory over the Bruins (0-4, 2-6).
The Indians led 55-0 at halftime and let everybody on the roster see the field during a 7-7 second half.
Ripon didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard.
Well, 34 seconds to be exact.
Sophomore Nick Price, who had 142 yards passing and four touchdown tosses with a 78-yard rushing score as well, hooked up with junior Ryan Fugit for a 44-yard strike on the game’s second offensive play.
On the Indians’ next offensive possession (59 seconds), Price found Claudio Santos for a 23-yard score to make it 13-0.
Ripon’s Josh Clark picked off Riverbank’s senior quarterback Freddie Capas (17 for 26, 184 yards, one TD) in the middle of the first quarter and also had a 62-yard punt return to the house erased because of an illegal block.
The Indians made it 20-0 when Price hooked up with Bradley Clark for a 21-yard fade to the right pylon. Price later broke loose on a 78-yard keeper to make it 27-0 as the first-quarter clock expired.
Ripon’s Lucas Bunting recovered two fumbles in less than a minute to start the second quarter. The first recovery turned into Price’s fourth touchdown toss to Fugit to make it 34-0 and the next fumble turned into a 5-yard score from Michael Morris.
Morris had three touchdowns for Ripon, one from 1 yard out and the other from the 12-yard line. Evan Costa also had a rushing touchdown to end the first half and make it a 55-0 contest.
“Ripon is a great team, they’re a great coaching staff but we didn’t quit, I like the way we rallied back in the second half,” said Riverbank head coach James Oliver. “After halftime we picked up our spirits, came out with a lot more enthusiasm and played really well. We played with a little bit of urgency … hopefully one of these days we can put the first half and the second half together.”
The teams traded scores in the third quarter, each team getting a touchdown and extra point. Neither team got into the end zone in the fourth quarter.
“We weren’t ready for their pace offensively,” Oliver added. “We turned it over and got deep in the hole.”
Riverbank also had some underclassmen join them for the game; the school disbanded the Junior Varsity team due to injuries and player ineligibility not allowing them to field a full JV squad. Some were taken up to the varsity level for the remainder of the season.
Riverbank will be at home to host Hughson for Senior Night on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., then travel to Escalon for the season finale on Nov. 8.