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Winters, Ripon rumble past Hughson to set up TVL title game
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RIPON — Ripon High took care of  business Friday with a 34-0 blanking of visiting Hughson.
The win sets up next week’s Trans Valley League showdown with Hilmar.
“This will be for the TVL championship,” said Indians coach Chris Musseman, who was pleased with his team’s performance.
On defense, Ripon (4-0 TVL, 6-3 overall) was bend but-don’t-break in keeping Hughson (1-3 TVL, 4-5) from reaching the end zone.
One of the pivotal points of the game took place midway through the second quarter.
The Indians held a 10-0 lead thanks to a 20-yard first-quarter field goal by Thomas Sidtikum. The Huskies, behind the running of Griffin Genzoli, threatened by taking the ball down to the Ripon 8 only to be betrayed by penalties.
Michael Winters made Hughson pay with his 78-yard scamper for the score.
The Huskies bounced back with their grinding offense. This time they were knocking at door with the ball at the Ripon 1.
The Indians goal-line defense held. Moments later, their offense delivered the crushing blow with Winters breaking loose on a 95-yard touchdown run.
For Winters, his big night — he had a game-high 236 yards on 11 carries and a pair of TDs — was fitting on this going pink occasion for cancer awareness.
His mother is battling cancer.
“This game meant a lot,” said Winters, who had a 94-yard touchdown run.
Ripon had a 17-0 lead and added a Sidtikum field goal in the third and an Aaron Paschini touchdown grab from Ryan Daggett as the topper in the fourth.
“I was proud of our defense despite some of the struggles,” Musseman said.
Genzoli was a work horse for the Huskies with his 221 yards rushing on 42 carries.
Ripon buckled down with another goal-line stand in the second half.
“This was our best game of the year,” said Musseman.