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Hilmar opens league play with disappointing loss
Hilmars Freddy Delgadillo celebrates after intercepting Ripon Friday evening. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

Hilmar’s varsity football team opened league with a disappointing 52-35 loss to Trans Valley League rivals Ripon High on Friday night at home.

 “I think we were just too excited coming in and we had to get all of the jitters out,” said Hilmar quarterback and senior Daniel Teixeira.

The Yellowjackets (3-3 overall, 0-1 TVL) hosted the Indians of Ripon (3-3 overall, 1-0 TVL) on Friday night and were unable to make up for a huge first half deficit, as Ripon opened the game with their first four drives converted to touchdowns.

Multiple flags on Hilmar’s defense lead the first drive of the game to bring Ripon’s Caleb McCusker straight up the middle and put the Indians first on the board.

The Indian’s following drive put Ripon on the board again shortly after as quarterback Nick Price scored on a keeper with 7:53 left in the first quarter, and Cody Haines received Price’s pass to find the end zone four minutes later.

Hilmar’s defense struggled early on, while Ripon’s coverage rattled the Yellowjackets on offense.

“We dropped a lot of balls, fumbles… just not picking up the ball,” said Teixeira. “Little things hurt us tonight.”

Hilmar opened the second quarter of play with a long pass intended for Alex Chavez but the great passing defense of Ripon halted any hope of momentum the ‘Jackets were looking for.

Cody Rentfro shifted the game’s momentum as he intercepted a pass intended for the boys in red with 10 minutes left in the first half, and the Yellowjackets capitalized on this opportunity to put them on the board three plays later.

The end of the first half had the Indians leading 31-6 but the ‘Jackets came out hot in the second half as Teixeira completed a 20 yard pass to Nick Olivera for a touchdown in the opening drive of the third quarter.

“We came out more focused on our assignments the second half,” said Teixeira. “We did what we needed to do and stayed focused.”

Although Teixeira was able to hit his receivers in the second half, Ripon’s defense did not let up and their offense finished the game strong, winning their second consecutive contest of the year.

“It was the first game of league and we knew Ripon would be tough competition,” said Teixeira. “We’ll just have to put this behind us and come back stronger next week.”

Hilmar’s next game will be a tough TVL matchup against Escalon at 7:30 p.m. Friday.