Strength trumped speed Friday at Guss Schmiedt Field.
MODESTO – For the second straight year, Ripon High had its season end at the hands of Central Catholic.
Ripon Christian's first-year defensive coordinator Eddie Erdelatz has coaching in his ancestry.
Ripon Christian has reached the pinnacle of success for its 10th-year varsity football program under first-year head coach Randy Fasani.
Alex Laurel jumped over the goal line, splitting two defenders on the way to his fourth touchdown of the evening.
RIPON – Michael Ysit sat on the bench on Ripon's sideline and caught his breath.
WOODLAND – Andrew Brown only needed 117 yards to capture this year's Sac-Joaquin Section rushing title during Friday night's semifinal matchup against Woodland Christian.
Was it an aberration?
Upon further review, Manteca High's wild 69-55 win over Central Valley in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs was one for the ages.
Hunched over, Eric Reis pulled two of his strongest linemen out of the crowd and pointed to his back.
RIPON – Michael Ysit ran toward the corner, and it appeared as if he was going to pick up 4 or 5 yards before the defensive backs would catch up and force him out of bounds.
COLFAX - Sierra's season came down to the final play of its Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV opener Friday at Colfax.
SALIDA - The Ripon Christian Knights advanced in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoffs with a 50-20 opening win over visiting Stone Ridge Christian at Modesto Christian on Friday.
Friday night will mark the fifth time in six years that Sierra head coach Jeff Harbison and his football squad will make a Sac-Joaquin Section postseason appearance.
By JONAMAR JACINTO
One by one, Jeff Harbison met the tear-drenched faces of his players with a smile and congratulatory embrace for their efforts of a successful season, but one that ended sooner than they had hoped.
Will Kamps found solace in his teammates following the Ripon Christian Knights' Sac-Joaquin Section VI playoff loss to No. 1 seed Capital Christian.
Zak Burden made big plays with his arms and legs, and on the game's final sequence it was he who fittingly punctuated No. 10 Rio Linda's 49-44 upset of No. 2 Sierra in Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division III quarterfinal at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
SACRAMENTO -The better athletes won out on this day.
Down to their final play, Dakarai Charles threw toward the corner of the end zone with confidence.
Fade to black.
A year ago, Manteca put an emphatic stamp on its fourth Sac-Joaquin Section championship with a runaway victory over a first-time finalist.
Ripon Christian is well aware of what it's up against tonight.
Sophomores have long been a part of Sierra's winning formula this season, but when Brandon Arreola burst around the corner and into the end zone this was something new.
Behind the goal posts, shagging footballs blasted through the uprights during warm-ups, Sierra's Marissa LaQuaglia makes no illusions about her role on Friday nights.
Ripon Christian appeared to have an Andrew Brown clone in the form of junior tail back Brian Sytsma.
The third time was the charm for Eric Reis and his Manteca High football team.
Confetti wafted in the air above the home bleachers and players were met with hugs and high-fives at every turn.
GARDEN VALLEY – The Ripon Christian Knights relied on a strong second-half surge to roll past Golden Sierra in Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI playoff opener.
It was the kind of moment that can take the air out of a stadium.