RIPON — The Ripon High sophomore football team’s comeback bid was thwarted near midfield, where quarterback Riley Clark was sacked on fourth-and-5 with 56 seconds left.
That sealed Argonaut’s hard-earned 26-25 victory Friday at Stouffer Field.
The Mustangs of Jackson jumped ahead with 47 seconds into the fourth quarter and dominated possession after intercepting a pass on Ripon’s ensuing drive. A variety of penalties kept them from putting the game away for good, including a holding call that negated a 40-yard touchdown run.
On their final series of the game, the Indians (3-1) were awarded good field position by and intentional-grounding infraction on fourth down, setting them up on Argonaut’s 49 with 2:08 remaining. Ripon was unable to get a first down to keep the drive alive.
“They’re tough, man,” Ripon coach Jorge Velasco said of Argonaut. “They beat us with ball possession in the fourth quarter. Defensively, we made some key mistakes that hurt us. Other than that our kids played tough until the very end.”
Ripon trailed 12-0 after the first quarter but picked up some momentum with a 45-yard touchdown run from Josh Clark and a 20-yard pass play from Riley Clark to Lucas Bunting.
In the third quarter, Riley Clark hooked up with Jace McFetridge for a 45-yard catch-and-run that gave the Indians their first and only lead of the game, 25-20.
East Union 33, Ceres 14
In Ceres, Victor Lopez capped off a terrific all-around effort by the Lancers with a 92-yard interception return in the fourth quarter to put the host Bulldogs away for good.
Cody Keener also had an interception, and Nic McGill forced a fumble with a jarring hit on a third-quarter sack.
East Union especially shined on offense. Victor Lopez made the most of his 14 rushes, exploding for 143 yards and three scores.
Quarterback Jake Danhoff completed all three of his pass attempts for 66 yards. One of those passes went for a 1-yard TD to McGill, while Robbie Gleockler and Clay Cuneo each hauled in a huge catch on third-down plays.
Manteca 24, Stagg 6
It was an old-school Buffalo victory in Stockton Friday, as they grinded out the tough yards offensively and dominated on defense.
Matt Wilkerson, Elijah Cooper, Tyler Silva and Nick Gatehouse led the defense, and lineman Gus LaDue ran an interception back 25 yards for a touchdown.
On offense, Michael Gonzalez helped set the tone on the ground and finished with 81 yards on 14 attempts. But the scoring was done through the air, as Buddy Reeder (7 of 13, 48 yards, 2 interceptions) hit Jordan Dabney on a 1-yard strike in the second quarter and Devonte Milligan from 18 out in the fourth. The Reeder-Milligan combo was also key on conversion attempts, as they hooked up three times on 2-point bass plays.