RIPON – Michael Ysit doesn’t run in an offense that affords him the opportunity to touch the ball 30 times every game.
So when his number is called, the soft-spoken speedster makes sure that everybody on the field knows who he is the first time he hits a hole.
In Ripon’s rivalry game Friday night at Stouffer field that meant galloping 20 yards into the end zone for the game’s first score and the first of four that he’d be responsible for before the final whistle. He accounted for half of the Indians’ scoring in the lopsided 56-26 win in the eighth installment of the neighborhood feud.
“The line was a lot better than I was today and all I had to do was take advantage of the holes that were there,” Ysit said. “It was RC and there’s always something there and we’re going to line up and go at them just like they’re any other opponent and I think that’s exactly what we did tonight. We’ve built confidence and put in a lot of work and we’re going to need that going up against Lathrop next week and then Escalon after that.”
Ysit finished with 200 rushing yards on only eight carries, hitting paydirt on three of them. He hooked up with sophomore quarterback Nick Price for another score, and played defensive back to stifle the Knights’ potent pocket passer Billy Marr.
Once Ysit had done his damage, it was then up to the next in-line in Ripon’s evenly-distributed offensive attack to take the reins and continue to grind away at the clock.
“We have some weapons and some guys that can play and that gives us the benefit of being able to move the ball around a little bit and have that diversity in who we’re going to call on,” Ripon head coach Chris Johnson said “We’re not immune to making mistakes and there are some things we’re going to have to work on – I thought that we played behind the sticks a little bit too much tonight.
“But we have guys like Nick Price that keep working and keep getting better. He’s a young man that always pays attention and studies film and does all of the right things to help your football team win, and I think you saw that tonight. We got lucky with that young man.”
Price complex six of his 10 passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns.
The margin Friday might have been closer than it has in years past when the two schools squared off, but that wasn’t enough for head coach Randy Fasani who hopes to take the young program to its first outright Southern League title this season and onto a section championship game.
“There were just too many mistakes tonight for us on both sides of the ball,” Fasani said. “Our kids kept fighting all the way down to the end but that isn’t enough for the team that I think that we have this year. We missed a lot of blocks and a lot of things didn’t look sharp for us tonight.
“But I want our kids to dream big – these are 16- and 17-year-old boys and they prepare just the same as Ripon does to come here and play a football game, so they shouldn’t come in here and just expect to keep the game close.”