RIPON — Ripon High coach Chris Musseman spent the bye week simplifying the game plan for his team.
His Indians responded Friday with a 48-0 drubbing of Mountain House in front of a homecoming crowd.
“This was a great way to start league,” said the first-year head coach.
Preserving the shutout was equally important.
“My legs are still trembling,” said James Gaalswyk, who picked off a pass from his own 1 yard line and went the distance for the score.
“I read the defense and knew they were going to throw the ball (to Joshua Abril-Black),” he added.
Gaalswyk had a blocked punt earlier in the game to set up that first touchdown.
Ripon (1-0 Trans Valley League, 3-3 overall) wasted little time cashing in on the opportunity.
Sophomore quarterback Ryan Daggett connected with his top target Aaron Paschini, who hauled in the toss of a fade route for a 15-yard touchdown.
It didn’t take the Indians too long to tack on to that lead.
On their next possession, Daggett spotted Michael Winters in the middle of the field. The junior running back went the distance from there, racing 40 yards for the score.
Ripon was just warming up. Mountain House (0-1, 1-5) helped out with a series of penalties — in the first half alone, the Mustangs were flagged 10 times for 105 yards.
The Indians made it 20-0 on Riley Machado’s 5-yard run.
The defense got into the act when Ryan Durrer stripped the ball loose and ran 52 yards for yet another score.
Ripon closed out the first quarter with a 27-0 advantage.
Early in the second, Roland Davis picked off a pass at midfield.
Several plays later, Luis Candido found the end zone.
Shortly before the intermission, the Indians made it 41-0, with Winters scoring his second touchdown on a short run. Prior to that, Durrer reeled off a 45 yard gain to help set things up.
Outside of the Gaalswyk interception, Ripon’s play in the second half was marred by penalties.
“We’ll address that in practice,” said Musseman, whose team had 120 yards tacked off during the game.
Ripon will gear up for tough Modesto Christian next week.
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org