Niko Heinz is mauled by a Wolves’ receiver after he intercepts a pass near the end zone in the first half of Ripon’s 45-0 loss. Watching is Josh Moran.
Niko Heinz is mauled by a Wolves’ receiver after he intercepts a pass near the end zone in the first half of Ripon’s 45-0 loss. Watching is Josh Moran.

   The Ripon High School football team could have guaranteed itself a playoff berth with a victory over the conference-leading Winneconne Wolves last week Friday.

   While that didn’t happen, it still managed to secure a seat in the dance for just the second time in the last eight years.

   The Tigers received one of 16 spots given to teams with below-.500 conference records as a result of their “Defeated opponents (conference wins only) overall win/loss percentage,” which is criteria 3(d) in the playoff procedures.

   They were one of the final four schools to make the 224-team playoff field and will play Little Chute Friday on the road in Level 1.

   The Mustangs, who are the No. 1 seed in their bracket, are 9-0 this season and are No. 3 in the www.WisSports.net Division 3 rankings. Ripon is the No. 8 seed.

   “It’s not the way we wanted to enter, but it is nice,” Ripon head coach Ronell Hubanks said of making the playoffs. “The kids were rewarded for working hard and being road warriors. I wish we could have pulled off some at home and got in the normal way. Things kind of fell our way and we were able to get into the second season.”

Read the full story, which includes information on the game against Winneconne, in the Oct. 18, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.