RIPON — As a team known for its defensive prowess, it wasn’t out of the ordinary for the Ripon Indians to pitch a shutout over visiting Galt Friday night at Stouffer Field.
But to hold an opponent to single digits on the ground was a feat that shocked even the school that prides itself on being able to make stops and take away the ball.
After four quarters of football, including a running clock that began late in the third quarter, Ripon had held the Warriors to only 3 yards on the ground en route to a 49-0 victory that keeps their record unblemished heading into a grudge match game against Sonora next week.
And with the exception of Michael Winters — who scored on the ground and by returning an interception 70-yards for a defensive score — every other touchdown was scored by a different player.
“We’ve got a lot of good backs and it’s important to spread it around because it makes us really difficult to defend,” Musseman said. “Defense has been our thing here in Ripon for a long time now, and we’ve got amazing playmakers and leaders on that side of the ball. I can’t say enough about those kids, and they had a heck of a night tonight.
“A game like this was very important for us heading into the next week because we still have a bit of a lingering hangover after last year, and a game like this shows these kids that they’re ready – they’re going to be alright – and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”
Ripon relied almost exclusively on its running game Friday night — throwing only nine passes, three of which were completed — and saw production out of nearly every back that touched the ball.
For Dylan Sexton, who served as a short-yardage workhorse early in the game, the run-heavy scheme allowed for the offensive line and the backs to begin working in tandem to seal off lanes and open up space that allowed him to break a 60-yard touchdown run that sealed the fate of the Warriors early.
“It felt really good out there tonight,” Sexton said. “We were just a block away a couple of times and then we started hitting those blocks and things started opening up. Right now it feels like we’re gelling together well as a team, and we have our eyes on our upcoming game and redemption over what happened last year.”
Sexton finished the game with nine carries for 94 yards and a touchdown. Winters racked up 76 yards on four carries, including a 56-yard touchdown on the Ripon’s opening play from scrimmage – and Roland Davis contributed 68 yards on six carries including a 10-yard touchdown.
Ripon quarterback Ryan Daggett was 3-of-9 passing for 33 yards, connecting all three times with Tino Raygoza including on a 3-yard touchdown strike.
The Indians will host winless Sonora on Friday Sept. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at Stouffer Field. Ripon is looking to avenge a 69-7 loss to the Wildcats.