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Bruins Host First Game In New Stadium
Riverbank quarterback Jalen Spikes, 5, tries to gain yardage against the Hawks of Delhi at Fridays home opener for the 2015 varsity football season. It was the first game on the newly redesigned Angelo Novi Stadium. This past summer the entire track was ripped out and replaced with an all-weather surface that left less grass on the field, some of it brand new. Ric McGinnis/The News


After a delay of a week, Riverbank’s varsity football Bruins were finally able on Friday to kick off their home season in the newly upgraded Angelo Novi Stadium with its all-weather track and field accommodations. They hosted the Hawks of Delhi High School.

The week before, which was originally slated to be the inaugural event in the home stadium, the game was moved to Big Valley Christian High School in Modesto. There were safety concerns about how well rooted the new portions of sod were. It was decided to give them one more week, hence the delay.

To take into account the differences between football cleats and the kind of track spikes necessary for the new surface, pads were installed from the gate across the track to the grass part of the field. There were barriers on either side of the path to prevent players and others from straying onto the new surface.

It wasn’t clear whether a similar set up was in place on the visitor’s side of the field.

Both Bruin teams worked hard in the summer-like heat of Friday night, but the JVs fell 43-0 to the Junior Hawks in the Sept. 11 opener, while the Varsity Bruins fared slightly better, but were still on the losing side of a 69-15 final score. High points of Riverbank’s offense were a touchdown carried by Tim Brown and extra point with less than five minutes left in the first half. The Bruins scored next with a TD with less than two minutes left in the game and Joseph Crosby took in a two-point conversion. A defensive highlight came with Brown’s block of a Hawk extra point attempt with 20 seconds left in the first half.

Riverbank hosts the Linden Lions on Friday, Sept. 18.

The JV game is at 5:30 p.m. and the Varsity game starts at 7:30 p.m.