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RC christens new stadium with a win
SAT RC photo copy
Ripon Christians Travis Zuidervaart (3) scrables under pressure from Lindens Cole Schwark (55) and Max Nicol (28) in the first half during Fridays varsity game as Ripon Christian hosted Linden High at the new Ripon Christian Athletic Stadium. - photo by HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin

Ripon Christian Athletic Stadium was christened Friday evening with a 37-15 non-league win over Linden.

Prior to that, those involved with the $1.2 million project along with City of Ripon folks took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the Knights new digs.

But then it was down to business.

At first, Linden (0-3) looked to spoil the earlier festivities by taking an early 7-0 lead.  From the get go, senior quarterback Anthony Craven connected with Hunter White on a 65-yard pass play.

“That first (scoring) play from the line of scrimmage was a real eye-opener,” said Knights coach Trey Ozenbaugh.

His team answered back with Derek Dotinga scoring on a short run.

Craven and White again hooked up, connecting on an 82-yard pass play as the Lions made it 13-6 early in the second quarter.

The Knights (3-0) got their offense rolling when senior quarterback Travis Zuidervaart hit his favorite target, Jonah Lewis, on a 65-yard touchdown pass.

RC still trailed due to the missed conversion, 13-12.

Zuidervaart, who rushed for 124 yards on nine carries, put his team ahead shortly before halftime with a 9-yard run.

RC added to its 18-13 advantage in the third quarter.

Dotinga scored twice in the second half, tallying 109 yards on 11 carries with three scores.

His 64-yard touchdown run put the Knights ahead for good. Dotinga found the end zone again in the fourth, scoring on a 2-yard run.

“In second half, we controlled the line of scrimmage from both sides – I thought that was the key to the game,” Ozenbaugh said.

He added: “We also did a better job of running and throwing the ball.”

Zuidervaart accounted for the other fourth-quarter touchdown.

He was 12 of 16 passing for 176 yards.

Lewis hauled in three passes for 94 yards.

All told, RC finished with 366 yards in total offense.

Ozenbaugh was thrilled with the events of the evening, crediting the boosters club for providing a welcoming environment to those in attendance.

“It’s great to finally have a place (on campus) to call home,” he said.