LINDEN — With 1:37 remaining Friday night and visiting Ripon clinging to a seven-point lead and facing a fourth down and 15 yards to go from the Linden 28-yard line, Kyle Wengel spotted Cole Herrin with a touchdown pass to put the game out of reach and give the Indians a 42-28 win.
“That was a tough football game,” Ripon coach Chris Johnson said. “That was the best Linden team we have played in a long time. It was a dogfight to the end.”
Wengel was 9 of 17 passing for 142 yards with three touchdown passes to his favorite target – Herrin (eight receptions, 116 yards).
The duo’s other scores came on throws of 5 and 40 yards.
Josh McCreath (22 carries, 132 yards) scored on runs of 1 yard and 15 yards for the Indians and teammate Anthony Baciocco (21 carries, 157 yards) added a 40-yard touchdown scamper. Tyler Swortfiguer made a key fumble recovery late in the game for Ripon (2-0).
Calaveras 27, Weston Ranch 15
WESTON RANCH — An 80-yard fourth-quarter pass from James Simerly to Oshari Nelson drew the host Cougars in 20-15, but a score by the Redskins with 1:32 left in the game iced the contest for Calaveras.
Donnell Sims scored in the second quarter for Weston Ranch (0-1) on a 3-yard run with 4:26 left in the first half to cut the Calaveras lead to 13-7.
The Redskins (1-0) committed three turnovers with Kenneth Williams and Sims each making an interception for the Cougars and teammate Candelario Elizondo recovering a fumble. Williams snagged a missed Calaveras field goal early in the first quarter and returned it 50 yards to the mid-field stripe.
Simerly completed five of 17 passes for 122 yards.
Escalon 37, Lathrop 6
ESCALON — The defending Division-III state champion Cougars kept the visiting Spartans scoreless for most of the game until Christian Pena scored on a 37-yard run with 2:03 left in the game. Lathrop, to its credit, was still in it at halftime down 10-0.
Pena led the ground game for Lathrop (0-1) with nine carries for 48 yards and Escalon (1-0) allowed the Spartans just 68 yards through the air on four completions out of 17 attempts.