MERCED — The Ripon Knights novice team continued its undefeated march Saturday at El Capitan High, squeaking out a 19-12 victory over the Merced Blue Devils in Trans Valley Youth Football League action.
Carson Sanders led a balanced rushing attack with 90 yards and a touchdown. Jace Beidleman (61 yards, conversion run), Hunter Steele (44 yards, 76-yard kickoff return TD) and Anden Ries (36 yards) also powered the offense.
Sanders also made his presence felt on the defensive end, where he returned a fumble 18 yards to paydirt. He finished with 10 tackles, three forced fumbles and a sack. Rey Galindo added two interceptions.
Andrew Mensonides pitched in with seven tackles, while Owen Wilbur, Mario Garcia and Steele each had six.
Knights offensive linemen Dax Beidleman, Jaiden Rodriguez, Van Brian Hendrix, Josh Jacobson, Dylan Parker and David Rowe paved the way for Michael Evans (two touchdowns), Braden Schaapman, Kaeo Sanchez and Landon Corcoran to find the end zone.
The defense limited the Blue Devils to three touchdowns behind the efforts of Mason Durao, Jax Booth, Gavin Decena, Jack Peters, Alex Rader, Junior Rodriguez, Izaac San Nicolas and Jaiden Chandar.