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Hughson rallies past Ripon with 3 unanswered TDs
Bulletin sports fall 2021
Ripon's Ethan Day (42) is wrapped up by the Hughson defense as Bronson Burrow (89) comes in to assist. - photo by GARY JENSEN/


Hughson 0   6   6   6 — 18

Ripon 0   7   0   6 — 13


Second Quarter

R —Caleb Johnston 6 run (Ricky Ochoa kick), 11:42

H — Will Nutcher 23 run (kick blocked), 6:01


Third Quarter

H — Nutcher 6 run (run failed), 7:32


Fourth Quarter

H — Liam Bridgeford 38 run (kick failed), 7:49

R — Nolan Young 28 pass from Adam Barrera (pass failed), 5:15

RIPON — Ripon High's rally fell short in the Trans-Valley League finale Friday against Hughson.

The Huskies scored twice in the second half to edge out the Indians at Stouffer Field, 18-13.

"We needed to win this one," said RHS coach Chris Musseman, who watched his offense stall several times throughout the game.

He'll wait this weekend to see where his team will be placed in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs.

"This loss puts us in a horrible spot," Musseman said.

Ripon (4-2 TVL, 6-4 overall) played a grind-it-out type of game on offense, using eight different ball carriers to pound it out on the Huskies (3-3, 7-3).

On their third possession, the Indians started that drive at midfield, with Adam Barrera and Caleb Johnston breaking off runs of 21 and 10 yards late in the first quarter.

Johnston opened the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run on the second play of the second quarter.

Ricky Ochoa's extra-point kick gave the Indians a 7-0 lead.

The Ripon defense had held Hughson to 6 total yards when senior tailback Will Nutcher began to find some traction.

He broke off a big run to finally get his team into Indian territory. A few plays later, Nutcher found some daylight on his 23-yard TD.

Ripon managed to carry in a 7-6 halftime lead as the Huskies missed on the conversion kick.

Despite giving up a few big plays, the Indians defense was able to keep Hughson in check.

"Our defense played great," Musseman said.

`Jack Manning had an interception while Ethan Day had a few big stops.

However, it was the Huskie defense that set up the go-ahead score. Sophomore middle linebacker David Burns recovered a fumble at midfield. Nutcher, who finished with a game-high 144 yards on 20 carries, scored for the second time on a 38-yard scamper.

Ripon put together a drive that was momentarily kept alive on a fourth-down penalty by Hughson.

The drive stalled at the Husky 16.

Nutcher reeled off a 47-yard run to the Indian 37. Liam Bridgeford, on his first touch of the ball, broke free for a 38-yard score.

Down 18-7, Ripon marched back with Barrera at quarterback.

He hit his 6-foot-4 target Nolan Young on a few pass plays, scrambling for positive yards while keeping the drive moving.

Young and Barrera connected on a 28-yard score to put the Indians within striking distance.

They got the ball back in the final minutes of the game.

Ripon drove from its own 10 to the Hughson 38. The Huskies held on from there with Brideford coming up with a sack.

Barrera completed 5 of his 9 passes for 59 yards and a score. Johnston led the Indians in rushing 64 yards on 13 carries.

Day chipped in with 46 yards on 10 pops.

Young, in addition, caught five passes for 80 yards.