Good news first: Ripon Christian standout quarterback Danny Vos suffered whiplash during the Knights’ 27-7 loss at Mariposa last Friday.
Coach Jon Vander Schaaf feared worst — a more severe spinal injury or concussion — when he absorbed a vicious hit after scrambling to his right and throwing the ball near RC’s sideline in a third-quarter play. Vos was immediately taken to a nearby hospital for precautionary reasons. He will pay a follow-up visit to a doctor today.
Bad news: he is doubtful for Saturday’s home contest with Denair, joining several other Knights on the injury list.
Vander Schaaf said that if he is cleared to play Saturday, he may do so in a limited role. James Vander Schaaf, the team’s starting QB last season, will start behind center.
Vos is the heart and soul of RC’s balanced attack. He has thrown for 759 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions and is the team’s second-leading rusher with 301 yards and two scores.
“He has been at practice with us this week and is back to his old chipper self,” coach Vander Schaaf said. “Mentally he is doing what he has to do as if he is playing this week, but physically he isn’t doing much.”
Ripon Christian’s special teams could also take a hit if Vos is inactive Saturday. He is an outstanding placekicker and punter, and RB/DB Zach Davis — who handled kicking duties as a sophomore last season — has been hampered by a pulled hamstring.
Also missing action of late are TE/OLB Dalton Koslosky (sprained ankle), lineman James Holdren (knee) and FB/OLB Connor Adams — all starters.
The Knights’ 22-man roster can use as many healthy bodies as possible with a berth to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V/VI playoffs dimming with every defeat.
“We suited up 18 last week and 17 the week before,” Vander Schaaf said. “For a small squad, it’s been hard this year with all the injuries we’ve had.”
Back to good news: the Knights (0-2 Trans-Valley League, 1-4 overall) finally get reprieve from their brutal schedule.
After crushing Big Valley Christian, a school of similar size, 40-0 in Week Zero, Ripon Christian has dropped four straight to deeper, tradition-rich teams — Ripon, 35-7; Linden, 55-31; defending Southern League champ Le Grand, 56-34; and Mariposa.
Ripon Christian’s next two opponents, including Turlock Christian in Week 7, are both winless.
“We keep telling the kids our toughest games are behind us,” Vander Schaaf said. “Our last four games were against the toughest opponents on our schedule, and we really felt like had we not been injured we could have taken at least two of those.
“Now we’re in a situation where we basically have a playoff game from here on out, because typically six (overall) wins gets you into the playoffs.”