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Slide Continues For Varsity Football Bruins
There was no way around the fact that the tough Trans-Valley League football schedule would open a new can of problems for the Riverbank Bruins, yet the reality of the Bruins' 54-0 loss to the Modesto Christian Crusaders still managed to sting a great deal. Riverbank's varsity players found themselves outmatched in their TVL opener, falling behind a talented Modesto Christian team that improved its season record to 5-1 and opened the TVL schedule in style.

The Bruins fell into a 40-0 halftime hole, leaving the team facing an insurmountable lead before the teams headed off the field for the intermission. They also had a slew of injuries, leaving the already outmanned team scrambling to fill some gaps. Referees used a running clock in the final minutes of the first half and through the second half of the contest. The losses included Andrew Franco, who had to leave the field by ambulance, headed to a hospital to be checked out due to heart palpitations.

The Bruins had some key opportunities early, but formations, penalties and lack of a passing attack left the Bruins tackling a winless battle.

"We really did not do too bad in that first quarter," Riverbank head coach Paul Smith said. "Except we blew coverage twice and it cost us.

"They were really just stupid mistakes."

Riverbank (1-5, 0-1, TVL) got a tremendous effort from team leader Jose Moreno. Moreno exemplified what hard work and determination is, leading the Bruins with his effort and tenacity throughout the lopsided contest.

"He had a sack on (Isaiah) Burse, he had nine solo tackles," Smith said of Moreno. "He had two blocked PATs and almost blocked two more. He really was just a beast out there."

Other bright spots included the Bruins recovering three Modesto Christian fumbles and Donovan Wallace racking up 92 yards on five kickoff returns. The Bruins understand that they will be fighting an uphill battle throughout the TVL schedule, but continuing to play with passion and effort will cover a multitude of imperfections.

"Moreno just shows what kind of heart we have on our team," Smith said. "When you put that kind of heart into somebody that big and that talented, he's always going to be hard to miss.

"Everybody out there sees what he's got to offer."

The Bruins will look to right their wrongs as they make the trip to Ripon to take on the Ripon Christian Knights. The Bruins walked away with a 21-20 victory when these two programs met up a season ago and that fact is something the 5-1 Knights have not forgotten.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.