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Varsity Football Bruins Craft Big Win On Gridiron
The Riverbank varsity cheer squad entertains during halftime of Fridays football home game. Although there was no early game, the JV cheerleaders were on hand in support of their elder counterparts. News Photos By Ric McGinnis

The Riverbank High School varsity football team scored big in its home game this past Friday, bringing its record to 2-1 in the early 2016 season going.

The Bruins took on the visiting Lions of Valley Christian Academy out of Roseville on Sept. 9, coming away with a 68-20 win.

It was Riverbank’s third game of the season, the fourth for the Lions. There was no junior varsity game.

Head Coach Kit Jory brought up several JV players, saying, “Multiple underclassmen got opportunities to play, starting in the second quarter, including three JV players that were moved up since there was no JV game, who took over starting positions.”

According to CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) rules, JV players who are moved up to varsity cannot return to the lower level, but team officials said that, since Riverbank does not play in a league for football, they would be eligible to play JV for the remaining three games on their schedule. Many of the schools Riverbank plays in football don’t field a JV team. The last JV game this year will be on Sept. 30, on the road at Millennium in Tracy.

The next JV game will be at Big Valley Christian, on Sept. 16, while the Bruin varsity hosts the California School for the Deaf, from Fremont that evening.

This past Friday, Riverbank junior Chris Certuche received the opening kickoff, running down the far sideline to score and setting the home crowd celebrating. The PAT kick attempt, unfortunately, was low.

Next up, the Bruins kicked off. This was also run back, by VCA, which also missed their PAT attempt.

Just 35 seconds into the game, and the score was tied, 6-6.

With 7:38 remaining in the first quarter, the Lions scored again and were successful with a two-point conversion, which found them leading 14-6. By 5:55 left in the quarter, the Bruins had tied the game at 14.

On a 15-plus yard carry by Allen Brown, Riverbank led 20-14, with the clock showing double zeroes. The PAT was not successful and the first quarter was in the books.

Brown scored on another long run about a minute and a half into the second quarter and the Bruins didn’t look back.

By the end of the first half, the scoreboard showed 48-20, Riverbank. The Bruins scored a single touchdown in the third quarter and added two more in the fourth, for the 68-20 win.

Coach Jory named Brown the player of the game.

“He made 12 carries for 220 yards and 5 TDs, had 11 tackles and made one fumble recovery,” Jory said.

The coach cited additional stats from the winning effort. He said quarterback Jalen Spikes threw for 2 TDs, one to Carlos Villapudua and one to freshman Nathan Alanis.

Certuche had an additional rushing TD and Villapudua returned an interception to set up a TD rush by Kevin Gonzalez. Spikes also rushed for a 2-point conversion, Jory said.