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Ripon rolls Riverbank; Modesto Christian next

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POSTED October 18, 2014 1:00 a.m.

Since the start of Trans Valley League play, the Ripon High Indians have elevated their play.

It’s a trend that Ripon coach Chris Johnson hopes to continue as his team heads into the tough part of the schedule.

After Friday’s 52-6 drubbing of Riverbank, the Indians have Modesto Christian next week followed by Escalon and Hughson.

“We’ve really come a long way as a team since the start of the season,” said Johnson, who pointed out that 23 of the 38 on his roster are juniors or first-year varsity players.

Ripon (2-0, 3-4) got off to a strong start in front of a homecoming crowd against the Bruins.

A botched snap on special teams by Riverbank (0-2, 1-6) helped set up that first touchdown.

From there, the Indians went 50 yards on six plays capped by Ryan Fugit’s 2-yard run. Quarterback Nick Price made it 8-0 by running in the conversion.

Fugit was just warming up.

He scored two more times – three TDs along with a game-high 141 yards on eight plays were an evening’s work for Fugit – including a 90 yarder early in the second.

But prior to that, the Indians, behind quarterback Price, moved the ball in the air. The junior signal-caller found Trent Murphy for a 20-yard completion, connecting with Mario Roach for 15 more. Javier Hernandez broke loose for a 12-yard touchdown.

The Ripon defense kept the Bruins in check for most of the game.

In the second quarter, Jacob Duxbury found a little daylight, going 31 yards for the score while increasing Ripon’s lead, 32-0.

On defense, Cody Haines had an interception, in turn, setting up Fugit’s 5-yard scpre.

At halftime, Ripon held a 46-0 advantage thanks to Hernandez’s 9-yard TD, his second of the game.

With Ripon’s key players on the sideline coupled with a running clock, the Bruins put together best drive of the game, marching up the field during third-quarter play for their only score.

Ripon made up for that in the fourth, with Evan Costa staying on his feet during his 15-yard TD run.

Duxbury finished with 52 yards on 10 carries while Hernandez scored twice.

Price completed 7 of his 12 passes for 120 yards.

“Nick had a good game,” Johnson said, “He’s been the heart and soul of our team – he’s also a competitor.”

He continued to enjoy seeing improvement from his team.

“We started the year playing to level of our competition,” said Johnson. “Now, we’re using games like this one to try to get better.”

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