Racing to a season-opening win: Merrill’s three TDs lead Ripon to 28-17 win over Columbus

Cody Merrill has lived in the shadow of his older brother, Hunter, his entire life.

The Ripon High School senior, whose brother graduated this past spring, managed to break out of it with the help of quarterback Max Huseboe and the rest of his offensive teammates last week Friday.

Merrill caught three touchdown passes and racked up 206 yards receiving to lead the Tiger football team to a 28-17 season-opening win over the Columbus Cardinals at Ingalls Field.

“It really starts up front,” Ripon head coach Ronell Hubanks said of Merrill’s success. “Max had good protection in the pocket there; he made some throws where he actually took a hit at the same time, but having the offensive line give him time to see Cody Merrill as he is breaking open and hitting him in stride and getting him out in the open [was great]. Max is young and he’s a fast learner, but he’s still learning. With Cody’s explosiveness, it plays to our advantage.”

Huseboe and Merrill wasted no time hooking up with each other as Merrill caught a screen pass around the line of scrimmage on the first offensive play of the game and ran 63 yards for a touchdown.

Hubanks noted it was a result of game planning and preparation.

Read the full story, which includes information on a strong performance by the defense, in the Aug. 24, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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