RIPON — There ended up being some drama in Ripon’s 42-7 throttling of Central Valley on Friday.
After losing a fumble on their own 10-yard line, the Indians’ impressive streak of shutouts was suddenly in jeopardy as Central Valley began the final series with 2:20 remaining.
Sophomore running back Isaiah Hidalgo was stopped short of the goal line on the first play, and he then punched it in from a yard out with 1:24 left. With the clock running on this otherwise lopsided affair, the game concluded following the point-after kick.
“We could have kneeled it, but I wanted to give it to a kid who hasn’t had a carry and he fumbled it,” Ripon coach Chris Musseman said. “That was on me. Our defense still hasn’t given up a touchdown. The head coach did, though.”
Ripon (3-0) had not given up a point through 11 quarters up until that point. As the Indians defense lined up to start the last drive, outside linebacker Roland Davis encouraged his teammates to protect the end zone.
“It is disappointing but the win is bigger, and I’m happy for all of my teammates,” Davis said. “We could have done better, but overall we played well.”
The defense, coming off 34-0 shutouts of Weston Ranch and Sonora, has little reason for disappointment. The Indians held Central Valley (1-2) to just 32 yards in the first half and 92 overall. Troy Brogan, Nico Ilardi and Grant Wiebe each sacked quarterback Andrew Hernandez, who was limited to 57 yards on 10-of-18 passing.
“I think the fact that we only have 22-23 guys, it’s a super close-knit group,” Musseman said. “And we have some speed, and we’re trying to use that to our advantage on defense.”
Offensively, there are still things for the Indians to clean up, but they have the athletes to make up for some of the mistakes. Derric Roy enjoyed a breakthrough performance, rushing eight times for 148 yards and three touchdowns. He had seven carries for 17 yards in Ripon’s first two games combined, but an injury to a teammate allowed him to rise on the depth chart for the week.
“We have six kids who can run the ball, so in the first couple of weeks nobody really stood out because everyone is kind of getting the same amount of carries and same amount of yards,” Musseman said. “With what (Central Valley) was doing on defense tonight, Derric was the guy. Justin Hansen is out from last week, and we knew weren’t going to skip a beat. Derric is as good as the rest of them.”
Roy may have earned more carries in the future after putting his hard-running style and breakaway speed in the open field on display. He sprinted 41 yards untouched up the middle of the defense for a 21-0 Ripon lead, which was carried into halftime. Then on the Indians’ second play of the second half, he busted a 72-yard TD run.
“Shout-out to my blockers, man,” Roy said. “We didn’t execute so well in the first half but in the second half everybody did their job.”
Although Ripon was in full command in the opening half, it had its troubles handling the ball (three fumbles) and with pre-snap penalties (five), forcing the offense to punt three times. They scored on every possession but the last in the second half.
“We had a bad week of practice,” Musseman said. “The kids were too loose and the first half proved it. We have good football players and they came around in the second half.”
Quarterback Ryan Daggett, who anchored the offense the past two weeks, ran for 48 yards and a touchdown while completing six of 10 passes for 109 yards. Danny Hernandez added 70 rushing yards and 14 receiving, and Davis scampered for 28 yards and a touchdown to go with two catches for 45 yards.
Ripon totaled 422 yards of offense.
The Indians host Calaveras (0-2), which they upset in the first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs last year, before welcoming Hilmar (3-0) on Sept. 14 for the start of Trans-Valley League play.
“Every week from here on out we’re playing good football teams,” Musseman said. “There is no break in the schedule, so we’re getting back to work on Monday."
C. Valley 0 0 0 7 — 7
Ripon 7 14 14 7 — 42
R—Roland Davis 10 run (Nathan Valdez kick), 8:34.
R—Ryan Daggett 42 run (Valdez kick), 11:13.
R—Derric Roy 41 run (Valdez kick), 9:06.
R—Roy 72 run (Valdez kick), 11:14.
R—Daggett 14 run (Valdez kick), 5:56.
R—Roy 7 run (Valdez kick), 8:52.
C—Isaiah Hidalgo 1 run (Christian Palomares kick), 1:24.