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Ripon Knights win Super Bowl

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POSTED November 26, 2013 11:09 p.m.

By JONAMAR JACINTO

The Bulletin

Kyle Jacklich shined in all three phases of the game, and the Ripon Knights defense held up against the bigger, more physical Salida Steelers in the Trans-Valley Youth Football League Super Bowl.

The Knights claimed the junior varsity title on Nov. 9 in Mariposa, 15-0. Jacklich was named Super Bowl MVP after accounting for 14 of the game’s 15 points.

Both defenses ruled the first half until Ripon’s broke the ice in the second quarter with a 60-yard interception return from Jacklich. Cade Alger twirled the point-after pass to Michael Kamps, as the Knights carried a 7-0 lead into halftime.

“We were facing a Salida Steeler team that was bigger and stronger than us and was definitely not going to lie down and hand us a victory,” Knights head coach Dale Keith said.

The Steelers defense began to show signs of wear in the second half, with offensive linemen Drew Van Vliet, Wyatt Van Vliet, Josh Grabowski, Ethan Cormier, Mikey Gunning and Hunter Greenwood taking turns paving the way for their backs.

Jacklich returned to the end zone following a 55-yard jaunt aided by key blocks from Drew Van Fliet and Grabowski. Jacklich put the finishing touches on his MVP effort by kicking the two-point conversion.

Ripon capped the season with a 12-1 record. It avenged the lone loss to the Patterson Ravens with a 35-13 victory in the opening round of the postseason. The Knights went on to beat the Tri-City Bulldogs of Le Grand in the semifinals, 42-13.

 “We couldn’t have asked for anything more than what these young men gave,” Keith said. “They knew what they were going to be up against and they came out and executed just like we had worked on in practice.

“I am so proud of each and every one of these fine young men and what they have accomplished this season, and to end it with a Super Bowl victory was icing on the cake.”

Caleb Van Donselaar joined Drew Van Vliet, Alger, Cormier, Grabowski, Jacklich and Kamps on the American Conference All-Star team, which blanked National, 14-0.

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