Riverfield stopped short by Trinity
Riverfield Academy went into Friday’s game against Trinity Episcopal with a share of the District 3AA crown on the line.
The Saints were undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class AA. Although the Raiders fell short of a victory, the team showed its tenacity by fighting back after being blown out in the first quarter, eventually losing 24-14.
This group fights hard and never gives up, even against the top ranked team in MPSA.
Despite the magnitude of the game, the Raiders forgot to show up for the first quarter. Trinity began with the ball, and on the first play from scrimmage, QB Giovani Dent launched a 51 yard bomb to Brandon Daggs for a score. With only sixteen seconds off the clock, the Raiders were down 7-0.
Things would go from bad to worse. On Riverfield’s first offensive possession, they were forced to punt without making a first down, but the Saints blocked it and recovered at the Raider 26 yard line. In just a few more plays. Dent dove into the endzone from 1 yard out to make the score 14-0. Stymied on the ground, the Raider offense took to the air in its next possession, but the Saints’ Jackson Bryant intercepted a Corbin Cater pass to give Trinity the football in Riverfield territory.
Giovani Dent made the Raiders pay for the mistake, quickly hitting R.J. Fleming on a 45 yard TD pass. By the end of the seemingly never-ending first period of play, the Raider were shell-shocked, gaining only a single first down on offense and giving up 21 points on defense. The Saints coaching staff had obviously scouted the Raiders and exploited the weakness in the secondary.
The second quarter was a different story. The defense adjusted and stopped the Saints. Dakota Moss intercepted a pass to end one drive, and Patrick Johnson sacked Dent, causing a fumble that was recovered by Logan Cantu, to stop another.
That turnover gave Riverfield the ball at the 50 yard line. Corbin Cater hit Dakota Moss on a 32 yard pass. On the next play, Cater sprinted around the right end for an 18 yard TD run. Jon Taylor Davis connected on the point after to make it 21-7.
The Raider defense continued to play tough. Davis, Joseph Bell, Patrick Johnson and Jeffery Jeselink had key tackles to stop the Saints. Just before halftime, Riverfield survived a scare as R.J. Fleming broke a long run, but fumbled at the 1 yard line.
Brad Rogers recovered the ball to keep Trinity out of the end zone.
To start the second half, both teams exchanged fumbles on their opening drives, with Logan Moore recovering the ball for Riverfield. The Raiders then mounted an 85 yard drive.
Corbin Cater, Jon Taylor Davis and Brad Rogers ripped off big runs behind the blocking of Joseph Bell, Blake Branch, Reid Rockett, Ryan Wilkerson and Zac Presley. Rogers took the ball into the end zone from 15 yards to raise the score to 21-14.
It would remain deadlocked into the 4th quarter until Fleming kicked the Saints’ offense into high gear, driving deep into Raider territory. Moss and Jeselink had key defenses in the secondary to keep Trinity out of the end zone, but Chas Moroney connected on a 30 yard field goal to put the game out of reach at 24-14.
Riverfield fell short in the game, but the team has nothing to be ashamed of. This team has played hard every game, never failing on effort and heart.
The Raiders have battled injuries and the loss of other key players such as Lee Beasley, Reed Trisler, Chase Cater and Will Clay. Despite the adversity.
Coaches Cleo Head and Joe Meeks have kept Riverfield in the playoff hunt. At 6-4, the Raiders need a win against Claibome this week to keep it post-season goals alive.
Game time is 7 p.m. in Homer.
Come support the 2008 Raiders as they play to get into the playoffs.