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McCreath leads Indians to TVL victory
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RIPON – The Indians made changes Friday out of necessity.

Jake McCreath stepped in for injured Alex Gustin at quarterback against Hughson. The result was a much-needed 35-7 Trans Valley League win at Stouffer Field.

“Jake did a nice job,” said Ripon High coach Chris Johnson. “It was tough on him last week when he got thrown into the fire.

“It was great to see him bounce back after a good week of practice.”

McCreath threw for three touchdowns – all to Cole Herrin – completing 13 of his 16 passes for 207 yards.

Herrin had eight receptions for 142 yards.

Ripon (1-2, 3-4) needed this victory to keep pace with the TVL leaders.

“We were coming off three really tough games,” Johnson said. “But even through the setbacks our guys kept on working.”

Andy Bunting and McCreath also played strong on the defensive side of the ball, applying constant pressure on the Husky quarterback, especially on the third-down plays.

The pressure also made possible Anthony Baciocco’s 60-yard interception return for a score shortly before the intermission.

Although winless, Hughson played Ripon tough early on.

It was until late in the first quarter that the Indians finally broke through on offense. Baciocco had the key play, doing his best tight-rope act along the sidelines while picking up 48 yards on the play.

He fell a few yards shy of scoring.

The Husky defense denied Ripon from scoring on the ground on three straight tries. Instead, McCreath went over the top, finding Herrin on the 3-yard touchdown toss.

Mariano Villalobos powered his way in on the two-point conversion.

Late in the second half, Herrin and McCreath again connected. The 6-1 sophomore receiver turned a short pass into an 86-yard touchdown.

McCreath bulldozed his way into the end zone on the PAT.

About a minute later, Baciocco had an interception for a return that gave the Indians a 22-0 advantage at the half.

At the start of the second half, the Huskies misfired on an onside kick.

This resulted in Ripon recovering the ball in good field position. Herrin then caught his third touchdown of the game, with McCreath throwing a 20-yard strike.

Hughson marched the ball deep into Ripon territory only to cough up the ball. Herrin recovered the fumble.

McCreath found Ryan Durrer on a 25-yard pass play, setting up Villalobos’ 1-yard scoring plunge.

The Huskies finally scored late in the game while going up against mostly the Ripon reserves.

In preparation of Modesto Christian next week, Johnson hopes his team can continue along the same path of improvement.

“I believe our kids have finally stepped it up,” he said.