Ripon erases 24-point deficit and reaches first section final in 23 years

Independent Contributor

Some had tears in their eyes while others screamed with excitement.

Ripon High had just clinched its first championship appearance since 1996 with an improbable 34-33 victory over Amador in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division V semifinals on Friday.

The thoughts running through the minds of the coaches and players: “We did what?”

Somehow, someway, the Indians (11-1) erased a 27-3 deficit, capping the remarkable comeback when senior quarterback Nico Ilardi connected with junior wide receiver Mason Knight for the go-ahead 28-yard touchdown pass with 3 minutes, 30 seconds remaining.

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