RIPON – Nothing Michael Morris ever does is easy.
When he gets the ball the Ripon High running back always runs between the tackles for the tough yards.
And if by chance the Indians don’t extend a drive, he doesn’t even get the chance to come off the field for a quick splash of water. All of a sudden he’s wearing the hat of an inside linebacker – this time trying to stop guys just like himself.
But when the Indians demolished the Orestimba Warriors Friday night 66-0 at Stouffer Field, ending the Indians’ regular season and sending them into an off-week with a 9-1 record, Morris, a senior, finally got a chance to exhale.
That’s two varsity seasons as an impact player and a cumulative 19-1 regular season record.
“Everybody has the same goals in the beginning of the season but unfortunately we just started slow this season. Things weren’t quite as polished as we wanted them to be,” Morris said. “Tonight, we came out and punched them in the mouth and just kept on rolling because we knew that this was important heading into that off week.”
Morris finished with 71 yards on eight carries and a touchdown. He was one of six Ripon players that managed to find the end zone Friday night.
Michael Ysit added a pair of touchdowns, and his 87 rushing yards sent him over 1,000 for the season. Ysit, who sat out last week with an ankle injury, said the success that the seniors had as juniors last year played heavily in the general outlook.
“It helped because we knew what it took to be successful, and half of what it takes to be successful is just thinking that you can be successful,” Ysit said. “We knew that after the Hilmar game we needed to focus and this is definitely the best top-to-bottom game that we’ve played as a team all season.
“It was important for us to have a game like this, and I think it renewed some confidence.”