MUSCODA – Riverdale’s varsity football team found itself in an early 16-0 deficit and despite a strong rally could never overcome that slow start in their Homecoming game against Southwestern last Friday.
“We had a tough time in the first quarter, but then after that we played pretty good football for the most part,” said Coach Curt Thompson.
On a perfect Homecoming Saturday afternoon, the Chieftains started out on offense. They held great field position following a short kick.
Unfortunately, Riverdale was stopped short on a fake punt and the Wildcats took over. Southwestern quickly marched downfield and grab an 8-0 lead.
On the Chieftains next possession, they fumbled the ball away on a second and short. However, the defense stepped up and forced a turn over to regain possession of the ball.
Riverdale struggled to move the ball and was forced to punt. The Wildcats then put together another scoring drive. In the opening minutes of the second quarter, they plowed in to take a 16-0 lead.
The Chieftains came to life on their next drive as Trevor Troxel hit Elijah Cannon for a 36-yard gain. Two plays later Riverdale was inside the Wildcat five, but a fumble halted the drive. The Chieftains turned in a huge play at this point when Trevor Johnson alertly scooped up a loose ball and sprinted into the end zone, bringing the score to 16-6.
The Chieftain defense came to life and forced a punt. On the punt they went for the block and just missed it, running into the punter to give the ball back to Southwestern. The Wildcats took advantage and went in for a touchdown to take a 24-6 lead.
Riverdale came right back on their next possession, getting a 14-yard pass completion from Trevor T. to Elijah followed by a big 28-yard completion to Brady Fox down to the 2-yard line.
The Chieftains punched it in, as Bradon Roen crash in for a touchdown and Brady raced in for the two-point conversion, bringing the score to 24-14. Unfortunately, the momentum gained was short-lived as the Wildcats marched downfield and scored just before the end of the half to take a 32-14 lead.
The third quarter saw the Chieftain defense get off to a great start, forcing punts on Southwestern’s first two possessions, led by hard charging Cody Sperry, who registered two tackles for losses. However, on offense Riverdale struggled, fumbling on their first two possessions. The second turn over resulted in a Wildcat score, 38-14.
The Chieftains came right back, putting together a nice scoring drive, sparked by a reverse pass on which Elijah hit Trevor T. for a 22- yard gain. Later, Trevor hit Badon for 27-yards on a screen pass. They capped things off when Trevor hit Ethan Haffner for a 24-yard touchdown pass.
Bradon Roen stepped in front of a Wildcat pass and raced inside the Southwestern 10- yard line. The Chieftains quickly punched it in as Trevor hit Brady on a 9- yard touchdown pass and it was 38-26.
Southwestern then put together a drive that put the game away, 45-26. The Chieftains did drive to the Wildcats one-yard line as time expired in the final quarter.
“What a game for Trevor T. who was not expected to play but was unexpectedly cleared earlier in the week,” Thompson said. “I know we did not win but the seniors had a chance to play their last home game together and did their best.
“We did some really nice things, but we just were not consistent enough. I thought in the second half we played very well and played more aggressively. You can not fault the effort of our team. We must continue to work hard and keep working to get better.”
The Chieftains will finish the season at Fennimore on Friday night.
Team stats: Riverdale, SW
First Downs: 17, 15
Com/Att: 21/41, 5/10
Passing YDS: 281, 81
Rushing Att/YDS: 18/82, 48/270
Total YDS: 363, 351
Passing: Trevor T. - 20/40, 259 yards, 2 TD; and Elijah - 1-1, 22 YDS
Receiving: Brady - 9-116, TD; Elijah - 5-82; Ethan - 3-44, TD; Bradon - 3-27; and Trevor T - 1-22.
Rushing: Bradon - 11-57; Brady - 3-17; Trevor J. - 1-4; and Caleb - 1-2