Ripon punishes upstart Modesto Christian with ground game

Ripon High opened Trans-Valley League play Friday with a satisfying 54-19 victory over Modesto Christian at Stouffer Park.

“We were happy with the adjustments we made during the game,” said Indians coach Chris Musseman.

His defense, in particular. The Crusaders were more than capable of making the big play “like a slot machine — they can hit anytime,” he added.

Ripon (1-0 TVL, 3-2) stayed with the ground game. And why not?

The Indians, behind the offensive line consisting of Peyton Reiseck, Kaden Zoucha, Camryn Arriola, Dawson Donich, Riley Favero, Emiliano Acosta and tight end Austin Foster, paved the way for the likes of Anden Ries, Xzavier Clark, Adam Johnston, and Trent Vink, to name a few.

Ripon rushed for over 400 yards led by Ries, who ran for 183 yards on 16 carries. He scored all four of his touchdowns in the first half.

Clark racked up 117 yards on six carries and a TD.

On the Indians’ first possession, he darted 43 yards to set up Ries’ 3-yard TD run.

Modesto Christian (0-1, 4-1) countered behind the play of Jeremiah Bernard. The explosive 5-11 junior picked off a pass, taking the ball to the Ripon 27. Moments later, he scored on a pass from Ross Widemon.

Ripon wasted little time from there. Reis took the ball from midfield and raced 52 yards for his second score. Jesus Ochoa’s extra point kick made it 14-7.

In the second quarter, the Indians continued to push back the Crusaders. Clark picked up 22 yards, Reis chipped in with 11 more and fullback Aiden Krupa added a few more yards on the drive. Reis capped it off with a 5-yard score.

Clark’s punt return to the MC 33 shortly before halftime gave Ripon another opportunity to up the lead.

Reis delivered, scoring his fourth TD on a 23-yard burst.

Clark, who saw his 35-yard scoring in the second erased due to a penalty, bounced back in the third, zigzagging through defenders on his 41-yard to paydirt.

Touchdowns by Johnston and Vink upped the Indians’ lead despite a pair of big plays from the Crusaders’ Isaiah Davis, who came away with TD receptions of 48- and 22- yards.

Krupa added the final touches, scoring on a 4-yard run early in the fourth.

Ripon’s defense featured an interception by Carson Daley and quarterback sacks from Ricky Ochoa, Allen Rivas, Arriola and Ries.

Bernard caught 11 passes for 154 yards and a TD to lead MC.

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