Ripon High’s fantastic start to the season was derailed by a 49-13 loss to host Hilmar Friday in a battle between two Trans-Valley League contenders.
Hilmar (1-0, 4-1 overall) fired off 36 unanswered points — 26 in the second quarter alone — en route to a surprising blowout.
Tyler Swortfiguer kept the Indians (0-1, 4-1) in the ballgame early with a 2-yard run that tied it at 6. They trailed 35-6 at halftime.
Both teams are stacked at the skill positions, but the Yellowjackets had five different players score at least a touchdown.
Garrett Jericoff led Hilmar with 80 yards and a touchdown on 12 rushes, and he added a 72-yard pass-and-catch score to extend the Yellowjackets’ early lead to 28-6 with 7:09 to go in the second quarter.
Ripon did well to limit standout quarterback Andrew Olson (6 of 14, 138 yards), who also hooked up with Jonathan O’Brien for a 21-yard TD strike.
Running back Josh McCreath halted Hilmar’s scoring run with a 1-yard TD with 40 seconds left in the third quarter. He finished with 20 rushes for 127 yards to pace Ripon.
Things don’t get any easier for the Indians, who next host defending Division-III state champion Escalon. The good news is that the Cougars won’t visit until Oct. 7 with Ripon’s bye week coming up.