WHAT: SJS Division IV playoffs
WHO: (3) Ripon vs. (6) Central Catholic
WHERE: Stouffer Field
WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.
ADMISSION: $10 adults, $7 seniors/students, Free for kids 5-under
On the way to their sixth consecutive Sac-Joaquin Section Division-V Football Championship in 2007 the Central Catholic Raiders had to get through the Ripon Indians. A lot has changed for both programs over the past half decade and the two programs will meet again Friday for the right to continue its season.
The game back in November of 2007 saw the Raiders jump all over the Indians in a 37-0 shutout. Central Catholic was riding the wave of all-everything running-back linebacker Louis Bland and Ripon was using the services of powerhouse captain Ignacio Pizano on offense and defense.
The two programs’ history dates back further than the 2006 playoff matchup, but no meeting the two teams have shared will be more important than the SJS Division-IV quarterfinal meeting Friday. The Raiders will come to Ripon and try to knock of the bracket’s No. 3 seed.
Central Catholic (9-2) is under fifth-year head coach Roger Canepa, who took over the reins after longtime head coach Mike Glines’ retirement in 2007. The Raiders rolled off an undefeated run through the Western Athletic Conference, posting victories over Los Banos and Patterson in convincing form. The Raiders’ only blemishes came to Placer High (Aug. 31, 48-30) and Downey High (Sept. 14, 45-42) during their nonleague schedule. Both teams are in the top half of their respective playoff
Brackets and the Raiders also earned a victory over St. Mary’s of Stockton the Division-II No. 7 seed.
Central Catholic had little trouble getting past Bear River in the first-round, jumping out on them 21-0 on its way to a 63-20 blowout. Central Catholic will be focused on the task at hand Friday, with the winner of the matchup sitting one victory from a section championship berth.
Ripon (11-0) is one of only six remaining undefeated teams in the section and if the Indians are able to extend their win streak to a dozen games Ripon could possibly find itself in a meeting with also undefeated Argonaut who plays Center High Friday at home.
Ripon has used a consistent formula through its unblemished 2012 season, relying on a deep and versatile backfield and one of the area’s stingiest defenses. The Indians opened their postseason run with a nine turnover effort in a 40-0 win over Amador, complete with six interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
The defensive side of the ball will play a major role in the outcome of the contest. Central Catholic has only given up more than three touchdowns twice the entire season, while Ripon has amassed 40 points in eight of its 11 contests.