HAZEL GREEN – After spotting visiting Rio a 6-0 first-quarter lead in last Friday night’s season opening football game, the Southwestern Wildcats followed with a scoring barrage that led to a 31-12 victory and a 1-0 start to the 2016 season.
With first-year head coach Solomon Taylor at the helm, Southwestern scored on the ground, through the air, and even on defense, getting the Wildcats off on the right foot.
“We definitely have some things we need to clean up, but for the most part our guys played a really good game,” said coach Taylor. “First home game in the books, now it’s on to North Crawford this week.”
Rio got on the scoreboard first with a three-yard touchdown run, followed by a failed two-point conversion attempt. From that point on, the Southwestern defense stood strong, forcing four turnovers that led to points, both offensively and defensively.
Sophomore Dylan Rieken made an outstanding first impression during Friday’s season opener, playing a part in all five of Southwestern’s touchdowns.
Rieken first hauled in a 27-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Cameron Lisk in the first quarter, which was followed by an extra-point kick by junior kicker Diego Lopez.
In the second quarter, Rieken found his way to the end zone two more times, first on a 10-yard TD run, and later on a 55-yard scoop-andscore fumble recovery. Following two missed extra points, the Wildcats held a 19-6 lead at the half.
Neither team found the end zone in the third quarter, but in the fourth, Rio couldn’t keep Rieken out any longer, as the sophomore scored two more times.
Early in the fourth quarter, Lisk and Rieken hooked up for a 45-yard touchdown pass, then later in the quarter Rieken sprinted 62 yards to pay dirt for his fifth TD of the game.
Rio closed out the scoring with a late touchdown in the fourth quarter, making the final, 31-12.
When the final whistle had blown, Rieken finished the game with 80 yards and two touchdowns on just three rushing attempts, while hauling in two passes for 72 yards and two more TDs.
The explosive sophomore touched the ball just five times on offense and scored four touchdowns to go along with 152 total yards.
Southwestern’s top rusher was junior Derek Leibfried, who on 14 carries had 57 yards. Lisk completed 7-of-20 passing attempts for 127 yards and two TDs, while Diego Lopez hauled in three receptions for 41 yards and was 1-of-4 on extra-point kicks.
The Southwestern defense forced Rio into seven fumbles, recovering four, and limited their opponent to 226 yards rushing on 53 attempts. Rio did not attempt a single pass.
This Friday night the Wildcats will travel to North Crawford for their second non-conference contest of the season. The Trojans (1-0) are coming off a 14-12 victory over Benton/Scales Mound.
Southwestern 31, Rio 12
(from Friday, Aug. 19)
Rio…………………… 6 0 0 6 - 12
Southwestern..............7 12 0 12 - 31
R - Mekhi Haugen, 3-yard run (run failed)
SW - Dylan Rieken, 27-yard pass from Cameron
Lisk (Diego Lopez kick)
SW - Dylan Rieken, 10-yard run (kick failed)
SW - Dylan Rieken, 55-yard fumble return (kick failed)
SW - Dylan Rieken, 45-yard pass from Cameron Lisk (kick failed)
SW - Dylan Rieken, 62-yard run (pass failed)
R - Trevor Prochnow, 18-yard run (run failed)
First downs - R 8, SW 7. Rushing - R 53-226, SW 27-113. Passing yards - R 0, SW 127. Passes - R 0-0-0, SW 7-20-0. Fumbles-lost - R 7-4, SW 1-0. Penalties-yards - R 10-75, SW 8-45.
Rushing leaders: R: Dylan Rieken 3-80; Derek Leibfried 14-57. SW: Duncan Fliener 18-86.
Passing leaders: R: None. SW: Cameron Lisk 7-20-0, 127.
Receiving leaders: R: None. SW: Diego Lopez 3-41; Dylan Rieken 2-72.