The Ripon Chiefs’ junior varsity squad advanced to the Trans Valley Youth Football League’s Super Bowl.
They earned their ticket to this weekend’s championship game in Mariposa by blanking the Modesto Rams at Stouffer Field, 20-0.
Ripon played its best game of the season, relying on the tough running of Luke Navarro and Matthew DeDonatis. Navarro also helped out on defense, recovering a fumble.
Logan Orlando kicked off the scoring with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Paschini. Alex Padilla added the two-point kick, giving the Chiefs an 8-0 lead.
The Chiefs made it 14-0 on Navarro’s 2-yard run. His score was setup by Orlando’s critical first-down scramble and runs by Ryan Wilson and Andrew Durrer.
Ripon’s final score was Durrer’s 5-yard run set up by a 25-yard pass from Orlando to Padilla.
The Chiefs’ defense was instrumental in shutting down Modesto. Eric Jaquez and Mitch Ulrich also recovered fumbles while Ulrich, Navarro, Zach Bailey, and Nate Morrow converged on quarterback sacks.
Modesto Rams 24, Ripon 14
The Chiefs suffered a tough playoff loss to the Rams.
They had a promising beginning. Nick Price had multiple carries early on, setting up Caleb McCusker’s 35-yard scoring run.
Modesto responded by scoring twice and forging ahead.
Ripon regained some of its earlier momentum when Nick Price connected with Daniel Van Lewen on a 20-yard scoring strike. Drake Vizcarra and Daelon Arriola had key runs in the drive.
Down 14-12 – Steven Crescini’s two-point PAT kick put the Chiefs briefly ahead – the Rams scored twice to secure the win.
Ripon had some second-half chances that included an interception by Andrew Wood, runs by Arriola and Vizcarra, and a pass play consisting of Price hitting Jacob Xavier.
MC Kingsmen 51, Ripon 12
Defensively, the Chiefs looked good early on against Modesto Christian thanks to the strong play of Tyler Escobar, Derric Roy and Adam Wood.
Roy scored the first touchdown on a 20-yard run. Michael Solario and Cabe McCusker had key runs on that drive.
The Chiefs were unable to connect on the PAT and trailed 7-6.
The Kingsmen made it 13-6, with Ripon quickly answering on Rolando Davis’ 50-yard touchdown run.
Modesto Christian made it 20-12 shortly before the intermission.
Despite the defensive efforts of Trendon Arriola, Justin Hanson, and Davis, the Chiefs were unable to hold back the Kingsmen offense.
All told, Modesto Christian scored five unanswered touchdowns in the second half.