RIVERBANK – Ripon’s 21-game Trans Valley League winning streak came to a halt last week against Hilmar, but that didn’t faze the Indians Friday night.
Ripon (4-1 TVL, 8-1) kept its focus on the postseason and bounced back with a 62-7 victory over the Bruins (0-4, 2-6).
The Indians led 55-0 at halftime and let everybody on the roster see the field down the stretch, with the reserves finding the end zone once.
“These kids come out here and work hard all the time and they deserve to be able to be on the field,” Ripon head coach Chris Johnson said. “We executed pretty well offensively. We still got a lot of stuff to do to get better and get ready for the playoffs and see how it all plays out. We’re just trying to get healthy and be 100 percent in a couple weeks when things get serious.”
Ripon didn’t waste any time getting on the scoreboard.
It took 34 seconds to be exact.
Sophomore Nick Price, who passed for 142 yards and four touchdowns, hooked up with junior Ryan Fugit for a 44-yard strike on the game’s second offensive play.
On the Indians’ next offensive possession, Price once again struck early, finding Claudio Santos for a 23-yard score to make it 13-0. Time of possession: 59 seconds.
Ripon’s Josh Clark picked off Riverbank’s senior quarterback Freddie Capas (17 for 26, 184 yards, one TD) in the middle of the first quarter and also had a 62-yard punt return to the house erased because of an illegal block.
The Indians made it 20-0 when Price connected with Bradley Clark for a 21-yard fade. Price later broke loose on a 78-yard keeper to make it 27-0 as the first-quarter clock expired.
“It’s kind of hard playing a team like (Riverbank), but we tried to stay focused the whole game,” Price said. “We’re just working on the little things to get ready for playoffs. Just getting everybody healthy and make a run for it and see what happens.”
Ripon’s Lucas Bunting recovered two fumbles in less than a minute to start the second quarter. The first recovery turned into Price’s final touchdown toss to make it 34-0, and the next fumble turned into a 5-yard score for Michael Morris.
Morris finished with three touchdowns for Ripon. Evan Costa rounded out the scoring.
Tanner French came up with a sack for Ripon and Cody Ley-Han had a fumble recovery.
Ripon will close its regular season at Stouffer Field Friday at 7:30 p.m. against visiting Orestimba.