The one-kid wrecking crew that is Ripon Knights quarterback Hunter Petlansky provided most of the offensive fireworks during the three-game Almond Bowl at Ripon Christian Saturday.
With rival Ripon Chiefs getting the edge in defensive battles at the junior varsity and novice levels, Petlansky denied them a sweep by scoring four rushing touchdowns and adding two more on passes in the varsity Knights’ 39-8 victory.
The Chiefs were in good shape at the start, as Jacob Duxbury ended the Knights’ opening drive with an interception. The Knights got the ball back, and Petlansky and Co. went to work.
Travis Zuidervaart and Jonah Lewis were on the receiving end of Petlansky’s touchdown passes that gave the Knights a 13-0 lead.
Down but not out, the Chiefs put together an impressive drive highlighted by Caleb McCusker, whose 10-yard run and 15-yard pass from Nick Price set up his own 3-yard TD scamper. Steven Crescini converted the 2-point kick to close the Chiefs in, 13-8.
With Drake Vizcarra Darren Sexton and McCusker leading the way, the Chiefs defense kept the momentum going by keeping the Knights scoreless on their next drive. But the offense sputtered the rest of the way, allowing Petlansky to take the game over.
Petlansky rambled for the first of his four TD runs near the end of the first half, and it was all Knights in the second half.
The Trans Valley Youth Football League resumes next Saturday with the Chiefs (2-1) visiting the Modesto Patriots and the Knights hosting Panther Youth Football of Tracy.
Chiefs 8, Knights 0
The tone was set on the game’s first play from scrimmage, as Chiefs DB Alex Padilla intercepted a pass. The first three drives were stalled by turnovers, and it was on the third that the Chiefs scored the game’s lone touchdown — a runback from Luke Navarro after a fumble recovery. Padilla tacked on the final points with a 2-point kick.
With momentum on their side, the Chiefs executed an onside kick that was recovered by Dylan Sexton, but the Knights did well defensively to stay in the ballgame.
Luis Candido sealed the hard-fought win for the Chiefs (3-0) with a late interception.
Chiefs 6, Knights 0
The deciding points weren’t scored until the end of the contest.
The Knights botched a golden opportunity after forcing a fumble to get the ball with 1:15 remaining. The Chiefs regained possession after recovering a fumble with 30 seconds left, and Derric Roy followed that up with a 50-yard touchdown jaunt down the right sideline.
Roy came up big for the Chiefs (2-1) in the fourth quarter. Earlier, he picked off a pass when the Knights threatened to score in Chiefs territory.