Randy Fasani said the biggest compliment he received this year was from former Ripon High head coach Chris Johnson.
“For a defensive coordinator to say I don’t know how to scout your offense, it means a lot,” Fasani said. “He said it’s too complex and there is too much going on.”
Fasani, in his first-year back at Ripon Christian as the offensive coordinator after a five-year hiatus, is a major reason why the Knights (12-0) will be playing for a CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI title on Friday against Hilmar (10-2) at Turlock High School.
After averaging 26.6 points per game last year, the Knights are scoring over 40 in 2018. Fasani, a former star quarterback at Del Oro High and Stanford, has brought in his experiences but for the most part, the offense isn’t really that different from last year.
“We love Randy,” senior running back Michael Kamps said. “He makes us better men every day and with him, it’s more than just a football coach. He is able to put in things that a lot of coaches wouldn’t necessarily think of and we have been able to gain success from it.”
The “offense” the Knights run is a pro-style West Coast offense, according to Fasani. The scheme is the quarterback lines up right behind the center and Fasani has “stolen” schemes and plays from offenses he played for over the years and watched on TV.
“When we self-scout, it’s hard to key on certain things,” Knights coach Trey Ozenbaugh said. “With our shifts, not a lot of high school football teams shift and if they do, it’s window dressing and a lot of times with us, it’s with an intentionality of setting up that play or three or four plays later.”
Fasani was the offensive coordinator at Ripon Christian from 2009-12 and the head coach in 2013 before stepping down to spend more time with his children. Fasani was working two jobs in the Central Valley and lived up in Rocklin and the commute had him missing family time and sporting events.
But in the summer of 2017, Fasani returned to Ripon and came back to the Knights this year.
It was like he never left.
“We have never lost connection as friends,” Ozenbaugh said. “I think Ripon Christian football has always remained a part of him. It was really a given that if he wanted to come back and join the staff, we would be thankful to have him.”
Kamps’ older brother, Will, played under Fasani in 2013 and said he is a family friend as well. He and senior quarterback Cade Alger have blossomed under Fasani this year.
Kamps has rushed for 1,585 yards and 28 touchdowns and has eight receiving touchdowns.
“I have to give credit to the offensive line,” Kamps said. “They are all gutsy and have been phenomenal this year. They have led this team and have opened holes all season.”
Alger said there is a little pressure taken off of him with defenses game-planning against Kamps each week.
“He is just our powerhouse running back,” Alger said.
For the 6-foot-8 quarterback, he has been able to get into detail about different defensive coverages with Fasani and Alger has “loved” the style of offense his team runs.
“We have different types of blocking schemes and he is so into details,” Alger said. “He makes sure everything is done right.”
Alger has thrown for 1,244 yards and 19 touchdowns and is coming off of his “best game” of his career in the Knights’ 25-13 win over Modesto Christian last week.
In rainy conditions, Alger was 9 of 13 for 162 yards and three touchdowns, all in the second quarter.
Alger was sacked only once and said he is planning on taking his offensive line out for dinner soon.
“We say that we are going to win and lose with our offensive line,” Fasani said. “I’m not sure how many sacks we have given up (this year) but I can count them on one hand.”
The Knights’ offensive line is coached by Bill Kamps, Michael’s father. Cade Alger is Ozenbaugh’s nephew.
They truly are a family at Ripon Christian.
What: CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI Championship
Who: #4 Ripon Christian (12-0) at #2 Hilmar (10-2)
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Turlock High School
Ticket Prices: $12 adults, $8 students and seniors
Ripon Christian Strength: Defense, they lead the section with only 71 points allowed this year
Hilmar Strengths: Experience, won the D6 title last year. Hilmar coach Frank Marques has led team to eight title games in 16 years.
Common opponents: Delhi (RC won 54-0, Hilmar won 48-7), Gustine (Both won 49-0), Modesto Christian (RC won 25-13, Hilmar lost 24-21)