Louisville Ballard football coach Mike Jackson has heard of the Riverdale football tradition.
He has spent the past week informing his football team about it.
Ballard (1-0) plays Riverdale (1-0) at 4 p.m. today at Papa John’s Stadium in Louisville in the second annual BlueGrass High School Football Classic. It’s the third of four games scheduled for the event.
“We’re aware of the tradition of Riverdale, or at least I am,” said Jackson, who is in his fifth season. “I’m very familiar with the success they’ve had. It’s good for us. It will be a challenge for our kids. Playing a team like Riverdale is a like a litmus test for where we are.”
Ballard defeated Western High 20-6 in its season opener a week ago with the Bruins scoring all of their points in the third quarter. Receiver Cam Lewis, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound Division I prospect, had 96 yards on seven catches. Jackson said Lewis is a second-year player.
Ballard finished 5-7 in 2011 during a season of starting six sophomores and freshmen. Ballard returns eight starters on offense and six on defense.
Riverdale defeated Brighton 42-19 in its opener. The Warriors’ Mariko Odom rushed for 186 yards on seven carries and had four total touchdowns. Teammate Ricardo Terry had 93 yards. Linebacker Scottie Boykin recorded 16 tackles for the Warriors.
Tyler Owens leads the Ballard offense at quarterback. Offensive lineman Joey Bloomfield (6-6, 295) is a Kansas commitment.
“They are big, physical and fast,” Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott said. “We’ve got to get more consistent on offense and take care of the ball.”
Riverdale quarterback Dillon Woodruff threw for 28 yards on 4-of-8 passing in the win over the Cardinals. Woodruff, who was making his debut after tearing his ACL in the 2011 Class 6A state quarterfinals, did not carry the ball in the win. He’s rushed for more than 1,900 yards the past two seasons combined in Riverdale’s wing-T offense.
Aydelott said he is aware of Woodruff’s ability and will eventually be called to run it.
“He’s the best player in the district in my opinion,” Aydelott said. “He’ll be used, I promise you. But first and foremost, I’ve got the team in mind. We’ve reped everything. I promise you he will be ready.”