RIPON – Ripon Christian High’s colors are blue and gold.
But don’t try telling that to Big Valley Christian.
All they saw was Brown, Brown, Brown, and more Brown.
Ripon Christian’s sophomore playmaker Andrew Brown tallied five touchdowns during his varsity debut Saturday as the Knights rolled over Big Valley 40-0 in the season opener.
Brown returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for the first score and never slowed down. He amassed nearly 300 yards of total offense in a revenge-themed blowout for Ripon Christian.
The Knights came out assertive on both ends of the field, stifling anything the Lions were trying to do on offense while moving the ball at will. First-year starting quarterback Dan Vos threw for 196 yards and two scores to go along with the Knights’ 157 yards of rushing.
“We are real excited about our team this year,” Ripon Christian head coach John Vander Schaaf said. “We have some really big horses up front and we are real proud of their abilities. Anton Den dulk, Jordan Goslinga and James Holdren are some big boys that play football pretty well up front.”
With the Knights front line dominating the Lions, Brown continuously wreaked havoc. Two of Brown’s first three touches went for scores and four of his five scores showed glimpses of a special talent.
After the opening kickoff bounced past him to the 10-yard-line, Brown scooped the ball, made a defender miss and promptly won a foot race with a pair of Big Valley Christian defenders to the end zone. His third touch displayed a shifty cut-back move that freed him for a 33-yard score. The same move was back on display in the third period when he took a perfect Vos pass 86-yards for his fourth score.
“Andrew is a playmaker,” Vander Schaaf said. “He’s all over the field, you seen it on the kickoff; he catches passes, he runs the ball well.
“He is definitely a weapon from everywhere on the field.”
Vos displayed his speed and athleticism throughout the contest, lifting Ripon Christian up 20-0 with a 19-yard touchdown run down the visiting sideline. A pair of defenders seemingly had an angle on Vos, but speed proved to be the difference on his first carry of the game.
“When Big Valley beat our varsity last year, we came out this year and said we cannot let that happen,” Vos said. “We all said that we cannot let them come out and beat us in the first game this year, we need that 1-0 start going into that Ripon game.
“This feels good to be able to beat them by that much.”
The Knights will roll into a bye week and prepare for their Sept. 9 Ripon Bowl show down with Ripon High. The Indians opened their season with a 28-8 win over Ceres High.
“We’re looking forward to playing Ripon,” Vander Schaaf said. “We have two weeks to get ready for them. We can’t help the way the schedule unfolds, we don’t have a field, so we have to take byes when they come.
“Now, we get to take a step back and see what we can improve on and try and accentuate the things that we’re doing better.”