Riverdale High football coach Tom Roszell knew that first win of the season would be tough.
It also turned into being nerve-wracking.
The Raiders survived a rash of mistakes to hold off East Lee County 22-12 on Friday night.
Quarterback Daniel Ulmer’s 27-yard touchdown run with 1:24 left finally wrapped up the game for Riverdale.
After building a 15-0 lead, the Raiders (1-2) had seven fumbles, losing three, while committing 102 yards in penalties.
“We’ve got a lot of sophomore in skilled spots,” Roszell said. “They have to grow up. We don’t do a bad job up front but the ones behind them are fumbling the ball along with having misalignments. We run pass routes that need to sharpen up.
“They also need to get an understanding of what winning feels like.”
Riverdale started like it would dominate the game. The Raiders took their opening drive 62 yards in 14 pass in 6:43, capped by a 3-yard pass from Ulmer to Jaylin Cochran. Zachary Sanders (six carries, 80 yards) added the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
The Raiders converted two, fourth-down plays on the drive.
“We’re trying to be a physical football team,” Roszell said. “We challenged the kids in practice on that.”
The Raiders made it 15-0 in the second quarter when Malcolm Spencer scored from the 1.
While Riverdale kept making mistakes, East Lee (1-2) made the homecoming crowd nervous with two touchdowns 39 seconds apart in the fourth quarter.
After Lothario Adderly (16 carries, 149 yards) had a 2-yard touchdown run, Cortavius Lee (seven carries, 67 yards) followed with a 38-yard run with 4:18 left.
Brayden Rooks (fumble recovery, interception) and Hunter Locke (two fumble recoveries) led the Raiders’ defensive attack.
“We had to fight hard to protect that win,” Locke said.
EL 0 0 0 12 – 12
R 8 7 0 7 – 22
R: Daniel Ulmer 3 pass to Jaylin Cochran (Zachary Sanders run)
R: Malcolm Spencer 1 run (Jean Pierre D’Alessandro kick)
EL: Lothario Adderly 2 run (run failed)
EL: Cortavius Lee 38 run (run failed)
R: Ulmer 27 run (D’Alessandro kick)
East Lee rushing: Lothario Adderly, 16-149 yards, Cortavius Lee, 7-67,
Dallas Campbell 4-33, Darien Staco 1-2, Steve Luders 1-0.
Riverdale rushing: Sanders 6-80, Andres Bartley 9-76, Spencer 10-38, Daniel Ulmer 11-38, Tyronne Campbell 1-26, Keichard Green 1-4, Roy Jarian Williams 1-0.
East Lee passing: Campbell 4-12-1-minus 10. Lee 0-1-0-0.
Riverdale passing: Ulmer 6-9-0-57.
East Lee receiving: Lee 2-minus 1, Staco 1-minus 5, Luders 1-minus 4.
Riverdale receiving: Jaylin Cochran 3-40, Deishan Lane 2-4, Roy Alexander 1-13.