MODESTO – It would be understandable if one thought Ripon Christian High’s football team was simply Andrew Brown and his Band of Renown, but the Knights’ standout running back disagrees as he explained Friday night at Modesto Christian High.
“Oh no, we have a lot of different weapons” protested Brown after his 365 total yards and five touchdowns helped spark Ripon Christian to a resounding 45-14 win over Denair, moving the winners (2-0, 4-1 overall) into a first-place tie atop the Southern League with a 2-0 record.
“We made far too many mistakes today, but our defense really stepped up and shut them out the second half.”
Brown, who scored his school-record 90th TD, was his usual zig-zagging, reverse-field self, scoring on a 65-yard pass play, a 17-yard catch and run, a 70-yard dash, and a 7-yard run. He followed that with a 49-yard TD run and a two-point conversion, giving him a grand total of 32 points scored in the game.
Winning head coach Randy Fasani, the former NFL quarterback from Stanford, sided with his senior star, saying, “He’s a great one but it all starts up front with our linemen, guys like Eric Broker (who also had nine tackles and a sack defensively), who break open the holes for Andrew to run through.
“And it’s especially nice when our QB, Billy Marr, plays so well. He had an excellent game.”
Indeed Marr did, tossing three of his four TDs passes in the first quarter as RC jumped out to a 19-0 lead.
The junior signal-caller completed 10 of 16 pass attempts for 247 yards and he came out firing, hitting Jared Stuit with a 58-yard scoring strike on the game’s first play from scrimmage.
With a hard-hitting, gang-tackling defense doling out punishment, particularly fullback/linebacker Kevin Kramer (game-high 12 tackles) and cornerback Keegan Rivera (10 tackles) as well as Broker, Will Kamps (seven tackles) and Spencer Hower (five tackles, interception), Ripon Christian was able to get past a flurry of mistakes, including five pass interference calls.
“We’re trying to build a program here, we’re building a new athletic facility for next year, and I think our team and our program is getting better every week,” Fasani said.
The Knights will continue Southern League play Friday night with a home game against Turlock Christian, this time at Ripon High School. Brown leads area runners with 803 rushing yards to go along with his 17 TDs through five games this season.