RIPON — Ripon Christian’s Michael Kamps scored three touchdowns Friday, Dominic Darretta led a spirited defense and their Knights did well not react to an undisciplined squad from Stone Ridge Christian in a lopsided 38-3 win in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII semifinal.
Third-seeded Stone Ridge (10-2) tallied 160 yards on 15 penalties, including ripping the helmets off of three RC players, twice of which were whistled for facemask penalties. RC had just 40 penalty yards entering the fourth quarter before picking up 25 more on two additional infractions.
As the No. 2 seed, RC (7-4) had a first-round bye.
“The discipline of our guys is because we preach it,” Ripon Christian coach Trey Ozenbaugh said. “And I will tell you one of the keys to this team’s success is that they remain coachable.”
RC scored twice in less than two minutes midway through the second quarter and Stone Ridge never recovered.
One play after Max Steele (21 carries, 81 yards) picked up 3 yards on fourth-and-2 near midfield, Kamps broke loose for a 49-yard touchdown run, his prettiest run of the night. Near the Stone Ridge 20, he cut back against the grain, dodging three would-be tacklers for a 7-0 lead with 6:49 left in the half.
After a Stone Ridge holding penalty and a play for no-gain on the next two snaps, Stone Ridge muffed a handoff and Kyle Rivera fell on the ball on the 2-yard line.
“There was a hole and I went and filled it,” Rivera said. “And I saw the ball on the ground and I just pretty much dove on it.
“And then the offense got the ball on the 2-yard line and punched it in.”
Steele punched it in on the next play with 5:10 left in the opening period, and RC was off to the races. Kamps added a pair of 7-yard touchdown runs and finished with 25 carries for 143 yards.
“I gotta give all the credit to the O-line,” Kamps said. “They were opening holes all night and made the running really easy.”
Darretta made three huge defensive plays in the second period, coming up from his safety position to tackle Stone Ridge’s leading rusher Shane Casillas (11 carries, 35 yards) for a loss on a sweep; keeping Gabe Lopez (four receptions, 46 yards) out of the end zone with a touchdown-saving tackle after a 42-yard reception from Bryce Louters (12 for 21 passing, 161 yards, two interceptions) and making an interception with 1:56 left in the half.
Darretta put the exclamation point on the night when he pulled in the lone RC completion on a 35-yard pass from Mark Ozenbaugh with 1:20 remaining in the game.
“It (the touchdown pass) felt great,” Darretta said. It felt like as a team we were connecting and that sealed the deal. It was a great pass from Mark.”
The RC defense was led by Wyatt Van Vliet with six tackles, two of which were sacks. Rivera added five stops and Drew Van Vliet and Willem Hoekstra each had four tackles. Hoekstra is the Southern League’s Defensive MVP, and coach Ozenbaugh also praised 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive tackle Justin Heida.
“I do not think they face a defensive front in their league like ours, and I think that was the difference,” Ozenbaugh said. “And Heida and (Wyatt) Van Vliet start both ways.”
RC faces No. 1 Rio Vista next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lincoln High in Stockton for the SJS championship and a berth in the CIF NorCal Bowl berth.