GUSTINE — Ripon Christian is within reach of its third overall league title after crushing Gustine 49-0 on Friday.
The Knights (4-0, 7-0 overall) widened their lead over three-time defending Southern League champion Orestimba, which was upset by Denair 35-28 Friday. Last week, Ripon Christian ended Orestimba’s 23-game league winning streak, and it has already routed the two teams — Waterford and Denair — it holds a one-game lead over. The Knights’ final three opponents, starting with Mariposa next week, have a combined 4-17 record.
They had their way with Gustine (2-2, 4-3), scoring four touchdowns in the opening quarter with two of them coming on defense. Defensive lineman Drew Van Vliet (eight tackles, two sacks) returned a fumble 26 yards to the end zone, and defensive back Sean McGovern returned another 46 yards.
Michael Kamps provided the other two scores in the early barrage — a 1-yard run and 8-yard pass from Cade Alger. Kamps finished with 121 yards and 18 carries with two rushing touchdowns. He also recovered a fumble on defense. Alger, who injured a shoulder in the win over Orestimba, completed 7 of 8 passes for 118 yards.
Max Steele added 68 yards and a touchdown on seven rushes, and the Knights outgained Gustine 373-130. Drake Nelson contributed a 19-yard touchdown run that capped the final score. Brandon Garbez led the Reds with 107 rushing yards.
Ripon Ch. 28 7 7 7 — 49
Gustine 0 0 0 0 — 0
R—Michael Kamps 1 run (Jacob Van Groningen kick), 11:13.
R—Drew Van Vliet 26 fumble return (Van Groningen kick), 10:23.
R—Sean McGovern 46 fumble return (Van Groningen kick), 7:38.
R—Kamps pass 8 from Cade Alger (No. 8 kick), 1:43.
R—Kamps 1 run (Van Groningen kick), 8:11.
R — Max Steele 2 run (Van Groningen kick), 4:59.
R — Drake Nelson 19 run (Ty Mensonides kick), 7:30.