RIPON — It took Ripon Christian less than two minutes to get on the board Friday night when quarterback Nolan Lingley connected with Ian Vrieling on a 56-yard strike that burned the Summerville defense and ignited the Knights’ sideline.
And while the tempo would slow down, Ripon Christian (2-1) remained firmly in control throughout a 36-13 romp over the visiting Bears.
The fact that the Knights were able to stave off an attempt by Summerville to claw back into the game in the first half after narrowing the margin to 14-7 was something that Ripon Christian head coach Randy Fasani felt illustrated the dedication of a team that only suited up 20 players.
“We played hard,” Fasani said. “We knew that they were going to hit hard, and our hat goes off to them for playing hard tonight. We had 20 kids playing tonight and only 24 kids on our roster, and everybody played a role in how things went for us tonight.
“I think that’s one of the strengths of this team is the depth on both offense and defense, and we have a lot of guys that would be starting in their position at a lot of other schools around here.”
Lingley, the 6-foot-2 senior signal caller who struck early for the Knights, played the role of pocket passer perfectly for Ripon Christian, completing 13 of his 19 passing attempts for 210 yards and three touchdowns — each to a different player.
Coupled with Sean McGovern’s rushing attack — carrying the ball 16 times for 91 yards and finding the end zone twice — the Knights were able to keep steady pressure on a Summerville team that relied heavily on the scrambling abilities of Jaden Brocchini to keep the game competitive.
In Fasani’s eyes, however, it was the flexibility of Caleb Terpsma — who changed numbers and learned a new position for Friday’s contest — that helped the Knights establish the tempo that the Bears simply couldn’t match.
In addition to playing a new offensive role in both the Knights’ ground and passing attacks, Terpsma nailed a 27-year field goal late in the second quarter that made the extended the nights lead to two possessions, and then intercepted a pass on Summerville’s next possession that set up a 24-yard touchdown pass from Lingley to Jake Grondz that extended the Ripon Christian lead to 23-7 heading into halftime.
“I think that Caleb Terpsma did a great job by filling in at Z back for us tonight in addition to playing every single down on defense and doing a great job with the kicking game,” Fasani said. “He’s an all-around player and I was impressed with what he showed tonight.”
Ripon Christian 14 9 7 6 36
Summerville 0 7 0 6 13
R – Ian Vrieling 56 pass from Nolan Lingley (Caleb Terpsma kick), 10:33.
R – Sean McGovern 4 run (Terpsma kick), 0:41.
S – Nicholas Veach 5 run (Ian Henley kick), 7:30.
R – Terpsma 27 field goal, 2:04.
R – Jake Grondz 24 pass from Lingley (Terpsma kick failed), 1:12.
R – McGovern 2 run (Terpsma kick), 6:05.
S – Jaden Brocchini 4 run (conversion pass failed), 8:30.
R – Sean McGovern 34 pass from Lingley (Terpsma kick failed), 4:45.