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Defensive effort not enough for Knights in loss to Orestimba
FB--Orestimba-Ripon Christian pic 1
Ripon Christian quarterback Mark Ozenbaugh lets it fly during the Knights Southern League opener against visiting Orestimba on Friday. - photo by GARY JENSEN/

RIPON — Ripon Christian’s offensive woes continued in its Southern League opener with defending champion Orestimba on Friday.

Anchored by two touchdown passes from Josh Barron, Orestimba grinded out a 17-7 victory despite an otherwise solid effort from the Knights defense.

Ripon Christian (0-1 SL, 1-3 overall) has dropped three straight for the first time since 2011, while the Warriors (1-0, 3-1) have won three in a row.

Ripon Christian actually outgained the visitors 179-163 but was done in by drive-killing interceptions. Barron hooked up with Abel Sandoval for a 33-yard touchdown pass for the game’s first points with 27 seconds to go in the first quarter. 

Barron later put the Warriors ahead for good with a 10-yard strike to Toby Silva late in the third. Aaron Valdovinos gave them some insurance with a 22-yard field goal with 5:09 remaining in the game.

Willem Hoekstra split quarterbacking duties with Mark Ozenbaugh for Ripon Christian. Hoekstra scored the Knights’ only touchdown on a 1-yard keeper in the third quarter, and Zach Cortright’s point-after kick tied it.

Hoekstra paced the Knights with 64 rushing yards, and Michael Kamps added 48. Ripon Christian threw for 45 yards while completing just nine of 23 passes.

Barron finished 6 of 7 for 106 yards. Orestimba’s was limited to 57 rushing yards. 

Ripon Christian looks to bounce back next week against 3-1 Waterford.