RIPON — Ripon head coach Chris Johnson is still trying to figure out what kind of team he has.
He’s hoping it’s the one that showed up on Friday.
Coming off three straight losses, the Indians wrapped up their nonleague schedule with a confidence-boosting 28-3 victory over Northern Section power Sutter. The Huskies (2-2) went 13-1 a year ago and coasted to their section’s Division III title.
Ripon (2-3) gave up 241 yards but had two goal-line stands to keep Sutter out of the end zone for the entire night.
“Our defense, to hold a team like Sutter to three points, are you kidding me?” Johnson said. “I’m floored right now.”
Nick Price three for three touchdowns, and Mattew Dedonatis led a balanced ground attack with 70 yards on eight rushes. He was also one of the recipients of Price’s touchdown tosses, his being a 2-yard completion that gave Ripon a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. Price also hit Cody Haines and Jacob Duxbury on scoring strikes of 24 and 7 yards, respectively.
Duxbury capped the final score with an 8-yard run and finished with 98 total yards from scrimmage. Wide out Aaron Paschini had another solid outing for the Indians, racking up six catches for 60 yards. Fullback Caleb McCusker added 66 yards on 12 carries.
Ripon has a bye next week before entering Trans-Valley League play at Hilmar.
“I’ve been saying all year it’s about October, but the schedule we’ve played so far every game was just a battle,” Johnson said. “To be able to beat a team like this going into our bye week is huge psychologically for our kids.”