The Ripon Christian High School football team successfully defended its castle at home in Ripon on Friday against the traveling Summerville Bears, who were coming off their first win of the season last week.
Summerville was unable to duplicate the nail biting comeback victory it had against Galt High School last Friday and fell to the Knights 36-13.
Ripon Christian got the scoring started less than two minutes into the first quarter on a long pass from Knights quarterback Nolan Lingley to receiver Ian Vrieling, who had two Summerville defenders beat and ran into the end zone for a touchdown.
The kick after was good to give the Knights an early 7-0 lead with 10:33 left in the first quarter.
Summerville went three-and-out on their first drive, but they got a second chance after recovering a fumble by RIpon Christian’s punt returner at about the Bears’ 19-yard-line.
A pass from Bears quarterback Jaden Brocchini on 3rd-and-10 at the Summerville 36 was caught by receiver Titus Shirley for a gain of about 15 yards and a first down, followed on the next play by 12-yard carry by running back Nick Veach for another first down.
Ripon Christian’s William Gilbert spoiled the Bears’ early attempt at a redemption drive by picking off a pass from Brocchini, giving the Knights the ball back on their own 39.
The Knights’ offense proved that their first scoring drive would be no fluke by going 61 yards in less than six minutes for another touchdown, successful point after kick, and the 14-0 lead over the Bears with 41.1 seconds to go in the first quarter.
Summerville started their next drive on their own 47 and picked up a first down as the first quarter was ending on another completion from Brocchni to Shirley that gained about 15 yards.
Brocchini and Shirley would connect again for about 13 yards, but the Bears needed a few more for a first down due to a flag for a false start a couple of plays earlier.
Facing a 4th-and-6, Brocchini heaved another deep pass to Shirley who caught it and was taken down past midfield. A personal foul penalty on the Knights brought the Bears up to Ripon Christian’s 19 with a fresh set of downs.
Veach would score the first touchdown for Summerville on a 5-yard sweep to the right, following a fourth-down conversion on a keeper by Brocchini that picked up 15 yards.
Summerville kicker Ian Henley booted the successful point after to make the score 14-7 with 7:30 left in the half, but that would be the last time the Bears would get to the end zone until the fourth quarter.
The Knights got a field goal on their next drive after the Bears’ defense prevented another touchdown, but Ripon Christian’s offense was quickly back out on the field following another interception by Brocchini on the first play of Summerville’s next drive.
Ripon Christian’s offense started on the Summerville 24 and scored another touchdown on the first play, a 24-yard catch-and-run by Knights receiver Jake Grondz. The Bears trailed 23-7 with 1:12 remaining in the first half after the point kick was no good to the right.
The next scoring drive for the Knights came midway through the third quarter following a blocked punt that gave them the ball at the Bears’ 14. Ripon Christian was back in the end zone a few plays later to extend their lead to 30-7, with 6:05 left in the third quarter.
Summerville next points came early in the fourth quarter on a keeper by Brocchini from Ripon Christian’s 4-yard-line. A failed two-point conversion brought the score to 30-13 in favor of the Knights with 8:30 left to play.
Ripon Christian answered 4:45 before the end of the game on a roughly 35-yard touchdown by Knights senior Sean McGovern. The kick after was no good and brought their lead over Summerville to 36-13.
The Bears’ defense didn’t allow any more for the rest of the game, while the offense fought until the final seconds ticked off the clock, but the game ended with Summerville’s second loss of the 2019 season.
Summerville, now 1-2 in non-league play, will look to bounce back next week when it travels to Hughson High School in Hughson on Friday.
Contact Alex MacLean at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 588-4530.