A Ripon wide receiver grabbed a deflected Hail Mary heave from his quarterback on the game's final play and then raced his way into the end zone for a 50-yard go-ahead touchdown.
“This is the most heartbreaking loss I’ve had in 11 seasons as a youth football coach,” Patterson coach Read Weinzheimer said. “But there are always two things that can happen in a football game, and you have to mentally prepare for both.”
Trailing 16-14, the Ravens seemed to gain all the momentum they would need with Toby Silva’s 18-yard touchdown reception with 2 minutes, 32 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. But Ripon thrilled its fans with the last-chance win.
“It was such an emotional rollercoaster,” Weinzheimer said. “We went from ‘Hey, we’re winning’ to ‘Hey, we’re going to lose’ in a matter of minutes.
“The football gods really smiled on (Ripon).”
The Ravens used a 10-play drive to reach the end zone late in the first quarter. Silva finished the job, barreling across the goal line for the 4-yard score.
Silva later burst up the middle for 25 yards to make it 14-0.
But Patterson could not hold onto the advantage.
Ripon scored just before halftime and later took the lead in the third quarter.
“We came in with a solid game plan; we had them baffled,” Weinzheimer said. “We were ready for them, and I’m so proud of the way the team played.”
The novice Ravens’ pursuit of a Super Bowl title also ended short of the prize.
Patterson fell to the Tracy Panthers 41-20.
“This was the first taste of the postseason for our kids,” coach John Guevarra said. “The energy was high, we played with good attitudes and our hearts were in it — but we seemed to be holding something back.”
Matthew Candelario, Elijah Lawson and Carter Corso scored touchdowns for Patterson. Teammate Marco Rios made good on a pair of extra-point attempts.
“This team has a lot of potential and talent,” Guevarra said. “Our goal was to reach the Super Bowl — in that sense, we reached our goal. We just couldn’t take that final step.”