SACRAMENTO — Despite Friday’s 56-7 loss at No. 4-seeded Capital Christian High in the opening round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs, Ripon remained optimistic about the future.
“That’s a good football team,” said Indians first-year coach Chris Musseman of the Cougars.
Capital Christian, after all, boasted several Division I college-caliber players in sophomore running back D’Marcus Ross and junior Christian Simmons, a transfer from Sac High.
Both scored three times each in the win over Ripon fifth-seeded (6-5).
Aaron Paschini, the Indians standout wide receiver, has received interest to play college football for Humboldt State and Western Colorado.
He provided one of few highlights against the Cougars, slipping past a pair of defenders on a fourth-and-long in the third quarter to snag Ryan Daggett’s pass for a 49-yard touchdown.
“I just missed (Aaron) on the previous play,” said Daggett, who used play-action on the scoring play. “He was open and I was able to get him the ball.”
Capital Christian will travel to Sonora in the next round.
The Indians, meanwhile, were thrilled to make the postseason.
“I was iffy about it early on,” said linebacker James Gaalswyk, who had a second-quarter interception. “We had a tough preseason.”
Musseman believes that playing the likes of Sierra, Sonora and Sutter helped prepare his team for Trans-Valley League play.
He also had a team with a good mix of seniors and first-year varsity players including sophomores Daggett, linebacker Roland Davis and lineman Gregory Clark.
Gaalswyk, who is a junior, just finished his second varsity season.
“We have some good young talent coming up from the jayvees,” Musseman said. “We just need to get stronger.”
To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.