Preps

Friday, Nov 30 2012 11:57 PM

Cotton-Moya lifts Ridgeview to D-III crown

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Ridgeview defeats Dinuba for section championship... Jubilant Ridgeview head coach Dennis Manning carries kicker Juan Ceja as the clock winds down to the Wolf Pack's first-ever section championship.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Ridgeview defeats Dinuba for section championship... Ridgeview players Deondray McGregory (7), Shaquan Baines (34) and Tevin Keeton (11) celebrate with the section championship trophy.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Ridgeview defeats Dinuba for section championship... Ridgeview senior Deaundre Turner, who a coach said took last year's playoff loss very hard, is overcome with emotion as he and his Wolf Pack teammates celebrate their section championship Friday night.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Ridgeview defeats Dinuba for section championship... Ridgeview players Brandon Tripp (5), Kamari Cotton-Moya (3), and Drummond Persons celebrate as the clock enters the final minute Friday, bringing the Wolf Pack the school's first-ever section championship.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Ridgeview defeats Dinuba for section championship... Ridgeview quarterback Kamari Cotton-Moya turns the corner against Dinuba's Max Azpeitia (1) and Derek Orosco (12) and heads for a first quarter touchdown that gave the Wolf Pak a 13-7 lead.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Ridgeview defeats Dinuba for section championship... Ridgeview's Brandon Tripp (5) looks to get around Dinuba defensive back Max Azpeitia after Tripp picked up some big yardage on this run in the first half Friday.

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    By John Harte / Special to The Californian

    Ridgeview defeats Dinuba for section championship... Ridgeview's Aaron McDonald hauls in this touchdown during the first half against Dinuba's Israel Rodriguez (25) and Mich Perez (56), one of the big plays that allowed the Wolf Pack to take control of the game early. Shaquan Baines (34) trails the play for Ridgeview.

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BY STEPHEN LYNCH Special to The Californian

Kamari Cotton-Moya and Ridgeview High weren't going to be denied this time.

After coming oh-so-close a year ago, the Wolf Pack claimed its first-ever Central Section championship with a convincing 55-14 victory over visiting Dinuba in the Central Section Division III title game Friday night.

Cotton-Moya played a spectacular all-around game, racking up 387 total yards while running for two touchdowns and passing for two others.

The Emperors' defense was seemingly helpless to stop the Wolf Pack senior quarterback, who had both his longest rushing and passing touchdowns of the season.

"It feels good because we were in our gym earlier and we saw valley championship (banners on the wall) for boys basketball, and other boys sports, but never a football trophy. ... It just feels good to make history."

Ridgeview (11-2), which lost the D-III title game in heart-breaking fashion to Kingsburg, played like a team on a mission, out-gaining Dinuba 566-311.

"For us it was just so much fun that our kids played the best game of the year and that's what you want," Ridgeview coach Dennis Manning said. "At the end of the season you want to be playing your best football and tonight our kids played outstanding."

Cotton-Moya and Brandon Tripp both ran through, around and over Dinuba's defense for huge gains as the Wolf Pack dominated from the beginning and led 35-7 at halftime.

The Ridgeview defense did its part in the rout, intercepting Emperors quarterback Marcus McMaryion twice.

Just 92 seconds after Tripp broke loose for a 32-yard touchdown run to put Ridgeview ahead 13-7 with 9:11 left in the first half, William Robertson stepped in front of a McMaryion pass and ran it back 20 yards for a score.

Moments later, Preveon Alexander intercepted McMaryion as he threw with his legs wrapped up by another Wolf Pack defender.

On the very next play, Cotton-Moya showed off his tremendous arm strength with an 80-yard touchdown strike to Drummond Persons that traveled more than 50 yards in the air.

Cotton-Moya delivered the knockout punch early in the third quarter, taking a shotgun snap and outracing the Dinuba defense down the left sideline for a 97-yard touchdown run that made it 42-7.

"He's an incredible athlete," Manning said. "We took a gamble not playing him on defense all year. Try to keep him healthy and roll the dice a little bit so we have him for defense in a game like this, a championship game.

"He played a little defense. He was able to knock some guys down. Made all the difference."

McMaryion, who entered with a 41-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio, struggled against Ridgeview's fast, athletic defense.

He completed just 17-of-37 passes for 223 yards, but did have pair of touchdowns including a 47-yard strike to Aaron Taylor 49 seconds into the second quarter.

That tied the game briefly, as the top-seeded Wolf Pack ended the first half with 28 straight points, including Robertson's pick-six.

"The tight end, I let him loose a little bit, let him get a little cushion, broke in on the ball, and got the interception," Robertson said. "It was just a game-changer from there. We started taking over."

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