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Turnovers, sloppy field doom Ripon in anticipated rematch

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Turnovers, sloppy field doom Ripon in anticipated rematch

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POSTED November 21, 2009 2:07 a.m.
TUOLOMNE — They call it the great equalizer.

After Summerville its only loss of the season in a Week 2 non-league contest, soggy conditions at Thorstead Field turned the tables on Ripon Friday.

The host Bears avenged the earlier defeat with a 33-0 shocker, knocking Ripon out of the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-B playoffs.

While the inclement weather did not help, it was not an excuse made by Ripon head coach Chris Johnson, who spent the entire game trying to jump start a sputtering offense that turned the ball over 10 times.

“The playing conditions weren’t ideal, but they had to play on the same field,” Johnson said. “Summerville came out and played a great game against us tonight. I think that our kids kind of looked past them a little bit, and that turned out to be a mistake.”

What is normally a prolific running attack for the Indians ended up becoming a series of botched handoffs and missed exchanges that gave Summerville (10-1) prime field position.

Standout back Nick Curtice only managed to amass 53 yards before being knocked out of the game midway through the third quarter, taking away the bulk of Ripon’s offensive production in the process.

The Indians fumbled the ball eight times on the night – including one that handed Summerville the ball on Ripon’s 12-yard line. Summerville would score two plays later.

The conditions seemed to affect both teams equally at the start, with Summerville quarterback Zach Roberson throwing two interceptions in consecutive attempts to Jared Macedo. But the momentum never swung back into Ripon’s favor.

“We just couldn’t get a snap tonight, and when you can’t even get the most basic part of the play down you aren’t going to produce,” Johnson said. “Summerville did a great job of capitalizing on our mistakes. They were the better football team tonight.”

The third-seeded Bears will square off with powerhouse Central Catholic, a 52-24 winner over Argonaut Friday, in the quarterfinals.

Despite the loss, Ripon finished the season with a surprising 7-4 record with only seven players returning from 2008.

While Johnson would have liked to see the season continue, he said he was proud of what his kids did accomplish this year.

“All in all I have to say that we had a pretty good year,” Johnson said. “We did a lot better than anybody thought we were going to do, and we got a lot of mileage out of our kids. They still have something to be proud of.”
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