Ripon caps perfect season
By John Casper Jr.of The Northwestern
MADISON - Forget Cookie Town. Ripon is the new Titletown. The Ripon High School football team won its second Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association state championship in three years with a 21-16 victory over West Salem on Thursday night at Camp Randall Stadium. Junior QB Scott Gillespie scored two rushing touchdowns and John Pimental rushed for 113 yards for the Tigers, who finished the season with a perfect 14-0 record. "I love all those guys," Gillespie said. "It’s what you dream of when you are a little kid and it finally happened." Frigid temperatures did nothing to dampen the spirits of the Ripon crowd, which was one of the biggest of the eight schools that competed on Thursday at Camp Randall. With temperatures in the high teens, Ripon started out slow but didn’t take long to heat up, taking a 14-3 lead at halftime after Gillespie scored twice in the second quarter. West Salem scored a touchdown just before the end of the third quarter and looked to have all the momentum after stopping Ripon on a fourth-and-1 in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers’ defense came up big when it mattered. Ripon forced West Salem to punt and Pimental capped off Ripon’s scoring with a 4-yard plunge to give the Tigers a 21-9 lead. The Panthers added a late touchdown but James Hron recovered the onside kick and Ripon ran out the clock. After taking a team picture and talking with the media, several Ripon players danced on the big "W" on the middle of the field. The football team returned for a midnight celebration, and school started two hours later Friday to let students recover from the festivities.
Ripon caps perfect season
Madison - After winning the Division 4 state championship in 2003, Ripon coach Rick Kelm made the mistake of forgetting about his wife and the Tigers fans after the game. Lesson learned. After Ripon won its second state title in three years, a 21-16 victory over West Salem in the nightcap Thursday, Kelm worked the east grandstands of Camp Randall Stadium like a greeting line. "The first time we did this, I got caught up in the after-game stuff and forgot about my wife and the fans," Kelm said. "I almost didn't find her this time, but I did. "This community is so great, I wanted to thank everybody." Actually, the community might want to think about thanking Kelm. The Tigers finished their season at 14-0 and, although the score Thursday might not indicate it, did it in fairly convincing fashion. After West Salem (11-3) opened the frosty evening with a 28-yard field goal by Adam Hutson, Ripon answered with a pair of touchdowns by quarterback Scott Gillespie. Gillespie gave Ripon the lead for keeps on a 3-yard keeper on the first play of the second quarter. He padded the lead when he scored on a 1-yard quarterback draw late in the same period. "We haven't called any of those plays down at the goal line all year," the junior quarterback said. "I don't know if Coach was saving those or what, but they were blocked perfectly and they were open." West Salem finally got on track late in the third quarter, scoring on Dan Sprehn's 3-yard run with 7 seconds left. That cut Ripon's lead to 14-9 and the Tigers needed an answer. They found it in John Pimental, who scored the decisive touchdown on a 4-yard run with 3:41 left. The key play of the drive was Gillespie's 29-yard jump-ball pass on fourth and 11 to James Hron, who wrestled the ball away from two West Salem defenders. "I just threw it for grabs and James made a great catch," Gillespie said. Said Kelm: "The kids made some comments on the sideline that if we got the ball back in that situation, they would take it in. We've done that all year." West Salem wasn't finished, however, cutting the Ripon lead to 21-16 as Sprehn plunged into the end zone from 1 yard out for his second touchdown. The Panthers' onside kick recovery failed, however, and Ripon ran out the final minute. "Ripon is a very well-coached team and was the better team out there
tonight," West Salem coach Wayne Sackett said. "We didn't have the collisions tonight to create turnovers and we have
lived off turnovers in the playoffs."
REGULAR SEASON
AUGUST    26 CLINTONVILLE TRUCKERS (NC)                     W1  54- 6
SEPTEMBER  2 at Sheboygan Falls Falcons (NC)                W2  12- 6
SEPTEMBER  9 at Berlin Indians                              W3  41-15
SEPTEMBER 16 WAUPUN WARRIORS                                W4  22-20
SEPTEMBER 23 OMRO FOXES                                     W5  21- 6
SEPTEMBER 30 at Lomira Lions (NC)                           W6  39-14
OCTOBER    7 at Wautoma Hornets                             W7  42-27
OCTOBER   14 at Mayville Cardinals                          W8  35-28
OCTOBER   20 WINNECONNE WOLVES                              W9  49-13
WIAA PLAYOFFS
OCTOBER   25 COLUMBUS CARDINALS                             W10 63- 6
OCTOBER   29 MILWAUKEE THOMAS MORE CAVALIERS                W11 28- 7
NOVEMBER   4 WINNEBAGO LUTHERAN VIKINGS                     W12 35- 0
NOVEMBER  12 vs Lodi Blue Devils at Beaver Dam              W13 21-14
NOVEMBER  17 vs West Salem Panthers at Madison              W14 21-16
NO NAME                        HGT   WGT  YR   POS
4  Pasqual Rinnert                        SR     K
5  Scott Gillespie             6-0   170  JR QB-DB
10 Ben Lukoski                 6-0   170  SR  E-DB
15 Justin Kernen               5-8   155  JR QB-DB
16 John Ernst                  6-2   160  SO QB-DB
17 James Hron                  6-3   180  SR  E-DB
18 Max Kulick                 5-11   150  SO QB-DB
20 Mike Parks                 5-11   150  JR RB-LB
21 Justin Baker                5-6   150  SO RB-LB
22 John Pimental               6-0   170  SR RB-DB
23 Isaac Minor                 6-1   175  SR RB-DB
24 Chad Beck                  5-10   210  JR RB-LB
25 Peter Schroeder            5-10   155  SO RB-LB
30 Noah Schnell-Harrison      5-10   160  JR RB-LB
31 Taylor Veleke               5-7   185  SR RB-DT
33 Alex Goplin                 5-7   150  SO RB-LB
34 David Soda                  5-9   175  JR RB-LB
41 Jim Stewart                5-10   165  SR  E-DB
42 John Pahlas                 5-9   185  JR RB-LB
43 Chase Hanson               5-11   155  SO RB-LB
44 Ted Mlodzik                 5-6   155  SO RB-LB
50 Cody Hanson                 5-9   190  JR  G-DT
51 Jason Polcyn                6-2   255  JR  C-DT
52 Jon Foster                 5-10   170  SO  G-LB
54 Alex Gratton                5-6   210  SO  T-DT
NO NAME                        HGT   WGT  YR   POS
55 Nate Schilcher              6-5   240  SR  C-DT
60 Jake Brown                  5-8   200  SO  C-DT
61 Devon Hundt                 6-2   200  SO  T-DE
61 Devon Hundt                 6-2   200  SO  T-DE
62 Justin Stefanski           5-11   180  JR  G-DT
63 Sam Stollfuss               5-7   170  JR  G-DT
64 Vince Kubisiak              6-1   180  SR  G-LB
65 Joe Leahy                   6-0   210  JR  T-DT
66 Mike Wiltzius               5-7   185  SO  G-DT
67 Ryan Kegler                 6-0   255  JR  T-DT
68 Brady Robichaud             6-0   200  JR  T-DE
70 Travis Bender               6-0   215  SO  G-DT
72 Eric Neuman                 6-2   220  SR  T-LB
73 Tyler Cler                  6-0   240  SO  T-DT
74 Cody Kolberg                6-2   170  SR  T-DE
75 Eric Towne                 5-10   190  JR  T-DT
76 Aaron Studt                 6-4   230  SR  T-DE
77 Clint Baurichter            6-0   235  SR  G-DE
78 Nick Bradshaw              5-11   245  SR  T-DT
80 Gavin Zimmerman             5-6   140  JR  E-DB
81 Ryan Hill                   6-2   160  JR  E-DB
82 Mitch Martine              5-11   155  SO  E-DB
83 Casey Ehrenbe               5-7   130  SO  E-DB
84 Justin Rank                5-11   160  JR  E-DB
85 Adam Splittgaber            6-3   200  SR  E-DB
Coaches:  Rick Kelm, Gib Stoeberl, Bill Kinziger, Al Schraeder, Bill Butler, Jason Wickstrom, Greg Peterson, Marty Moldenhauer
Managers: Rachael Wolf, Pat Kahl, Tyler Thiel
Stats: Randy Seiler - Video: Lee Jess
THE PERFECT SEASONS
YEAR RECORD COACH
2005 14-0-0 Rick Kelm
2003 14-0-0 Rick Kelm
1976  8-0-0 Jim Watson
1973  9-0-0 Jim Watson
1937  8-0-0 L.P. Hettinger
1936  8-0-0 L.P. Hettinger
1920  1-0-0 Percy Lunde
1915  4-0-2 Unknown
MOST WINS IN A SEASON
14       2005, 2003
10       2004
9        1973
MOST CONSECUTIVE WINS
20       2003-04
17       1936-38
14       2005 - Now
12       1975-76
12       1972-73
2005 STATE CHAMPIONS