RIPON – Michael Ysit ran toward the corner, and it appeared as if he was going to pick up 4 or 5 yards before the defensive backs would catch up and force him out of bounds.
But they never caught up. And he never went out of bounds.
On this play, Ripon’s first from scrimmage Friday night, Ysit rumbled 47 yards for the opening score. It was the downhill push the Ripon offense needed to blow out visiting Dixon 46-0 at Stouffer Field in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
“It was a good first play. We wanted to jump up on them early and take ‘em out,” Ysit said. “We let down a little bit in that second quarter but we picked it back up and did what we had to do. We played our hearts out because we don’t want this to end. We want another week of football.”
Ysit only touched the ball seven times but racked up 99 yards and found the end zone twice. He also caught a 42-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Price.
The fourth-seeded Indians (10-1) had nine different ball carriers and seemed to, at times, move at will against No. 13 Dixon (6-5). They had a chance to punch in another score near the end of the game but kneeled the clock out inside the Rams’ 10-yard line.
Senior running back and linebacker Michael Morris did the majority of his damage on the defensive side of the ball — including recovering a fumble — but also ran for 90 yards and a 4-yard touchdown. Pitching a shutout in a playoff game, he said, is exactly what the defense worked on for the last two weeks.
“We came out fast — smashing heads — and we were ready to play tonight,” Morris said. “It really was just a matter of coming out and executing and taking care of the things that we worked on from the start.
“Our defense wants to come right out and bust you right in the mouth, and when we did that tonight they didn’t respond. That’s really what you’re looking for when it comes to defensive football.”
Ripon will now host Calaveras on Friday in the second round of the Division IV playoffs. The Redskins downed fellow Ripon’s Trans-Valley League opponent, Hughson, 40-21 to advance.
While it would be hard to find things to complain about in a playoff win that ends with a fourth-quarter running clock, Ripon head coach Chris Johnson said that losing wingback Ryan Fugit (knee) and defensive back Bradley Clark (ankle) early in the first quarter will definitely hurt.
The quick start and the high-potency that he’s come to expect from his offense, he said, was nice to see, and now it’s just a matter of game-planning for their next opponent.
“That’s one of the things that we talked about – starting fast – and we were a little bit hurt tonight with a couple of our starters going down early in the game,” Johnson said. “But we had guys step up and fill those roles and that’s what you have to do in order to be successful. Take away a little bit of sloppiness there and I thought our technique was sound and we had a lot of good things to back on.
“Now it’s just a matter of getting healthy and getting ready for whoever’s next. It’s playoffs; it doesn’t matter who they put in front of you.”