Each member of the Ripon Christian Knights football program knew the importance of their Southern League showdown with Waterford High Friday. That fact made the Knights’ 49-7 loss to the Wildcats even tougher to swallow.
The Knights jumped out to an early touchdown lead on an Andrew Brown score, but even with a statistically sound evening Brown would not find his way back to the end zone.
Waterford (4-1, 6-2 overall) rolled behind the dominating play of Dylan Gonzalez who led the Wildcats with 191 yards rushing on 22 carries and three scores from 4, 28 and 55 yards out.
Ripon Christian (4-1, 6-2) got its lone bright spot from Brown, getting 75 yards rushing and another 71 yards through the air. Brown got the Knights on the board with a 27-yard touchdown catch from Danny Vos, but a three touchdown second and three touchdown third quarter from the Knights’ defense sapped the club of any shot at the victory.
Le Grand sits atop the SL standings with a perfect 5-0 record. The Wildcats have already fallen to Le Grand in league play (40-20, Oct. 5), but Ripon Christian will still have a shot at the Bulldogs in the league finale.
Before Ripon Christian can think about clawing for a portion of the SL title, the Knights will have to turn their focus to Friday’s home game against Gustine High. Gustine has only been able to stop one opponent, beating Turlock Christian early in league play.
A victory for the Knights over Gustine would lay the foundation for Ripon Christian to at least have a shot at a portion of the league title in the finale at Le Grand.