By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Twolves find their groove after rough 1st half
Sierras Jacob Peterson (8) breaks through the Ripon defense in the first half during Fridays varsity game at Stouffer Field. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

RIPON – In the end, it came down to defense.
With time running down Friday night and visiting Sierra clinging to a three-point lead, Ripon was marching down the field when the Timberwolves defense stepped up big two plays in a row.
Sierra linebacker Seuseu Alofaituli came through on an inside blitz to sack Ryan Daggett and on the next play with 1:28 left in the game Anthony Salgado made the second Timberwolves interception of the game to seal a 22-19 non-league win for Sierra at Stouffer Field.
“Coach told me to go,” Alofaituli said. I saw the motion to the other side and I knew the guard was going to pull and he did so I had an open lane.”
Salgado’s interception was aided by a tremendous pass rush.
“We worked as a team to get that interception,” Salgado said. “I read the quarterback. I saw his eyes and his head and where he was going to throw it.”
The only points of the first half came on a 20-yard pass from Daggett to Aaron Paschini (nine catches, 178 yards, two touchdowns) for a 6-0 lead with 3:14 left in the opening period.
It took the Indians (0-1) less than minute of the second half to make the score 13-0 when Andrew Durrer grabbed a toss from Daggett and bolted 68 yards for a touchdown and an 13-0 lead with 11:04 showing on the third-quarter clock.
Then the defenses took some time off when both teams combined for 28 points in less than three minutes.
With 2:07 left in the third quarter, Mark Vicente (14 of 17 passing, 236 yards, two touchdowns) found Carlos Perez for a 15-yard touchdown to draw the Timberwolves (1-0) within 13-6.
“They had a good rush in the first half and I was getting flustered,” Vicente said. “The line started making good reads in the second half and I stayed poised. The receivers ran good routes and we came out with the victory.”
Caden Worth’s 25-yard interception return for a touchdown coupled with Marcos Castillo’s conversion run put Sierra ahead 14-13 with 47.9 seconds left in the third period, but on the next play from scrimmage Paschini and Daggett combined again, this time from 85 yards out to put Ripon ahead 19-14.
But not for long.
On the first play of the final quarter, Castillo hit David Reyes with a 38-yard scoring pass for what would prove to be the game’s last points.
“It was a rough start,” Timberwolves coach Jeff Harbison said. “But I think eventually we wore them down. Like I said to the players, this is why we condition. We were able to wear them down and we went with our jumbo formation and we were able to get off some big runs.
“They got off some big plays that took away our momentum but we were able to bounce back and keep playing football.”
Depth on the line and experience is a problem for the Indians.
“We have some issues up front right now,” Ripon coach Chris Musseman said. “We have a couple of kids injured and then we had a kid get kicked out. And we do not have a lot of depth. We only have two guys on both sides of the ball that have any varsity playing experience.
“I am really proud of my kids. They fought hard and when they got down they found a way to fight back. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Daggett was 11 of 20 for 265 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions.
“He’s a sophomore,” Musseman said of Daggett. “We put a lot on him, too. “As the game went on we figured out we were not going to run between the tackles because we did not have the front and we asked him to keep us in the game.
“He did a great job.”
Castillo had 14 carries for 134 yards and a 53-yard punt return. Bryce Kinsey had a fumble recovery for the Indians and teammate Luis Candido had an interception.