Riverdale wasn’t running down hill. It just looked that way.
The Warriors scored on their opening play from scrimmage and never slowed down, racing past visiting La Vergne 49-13 Friday night at Tomahawk Stadium.
Riverdale snapped a two-game losing skid in grand fashion, piling up 475 rushing yards, including 314 in the first half alone.
Fullback Peyton Phillips led the way for Riverdale, rushing for 177 yards and three touchdowns on just eight carries The senior started the homecoming festivities for the Warriors early, going 74 yards on the opening play. He added a 1-yard touchdown run later in the first and capped his night with an 84-yard sprint in the third.
“We wanted a big jump starting off,” said Phillips, who was one of 13 Warriors to have at least one carry, and one of five to score a touchdown. “All week coach was talking about wanting to get the fullback going up the middle and we did that.”
Drako Little also eclipsed the century mark for Riverdale, going for 102 yards on just five carries, while quarterback Dillon Woodruff added 83 yards on seven carries. The Warriors attempted just one pass in the game, an incompletion late in the second quarter.
“That start was a big help,” said Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott, whose team improved to 5-2 overall, 2-1 in District 7-AAA. “To take one to the house on the first play of the game and then get a few more big plays early, I think it gave our team some energy and I thought we were missing that the last two weeks.”
C.J. Fore was a bright spot for La Vergne (2-5, 1-2), as the Wolverine quarterback threw for a 234 yards and pair of touchdowns with no interceptions. However, the La Vergne struggled to establish its running game – finishing with just 31 yards on 27 carries – and Riverdale’s big plays were too much to overcome.
“We needed to come in with a chip on our shoulder, and then Riverdale scored early and I think we got our heads down,” said Fore. “You can’t do that against Riverdale, bwe’ll keep moving forward and we will be ready the next time out.”
La Vergne dominated time of possession in the first quarter, holding the ball for 8:35, but the Wolverines came out of the period with nothing to show but a 28-0 deficit.
Riverdale forced La Vergne into a three-and-out immediately following Phillips touchdown, and the Warriors needed just three plays and 44 seconds to march 48 yards for Phillips’ one-yard run.
After stopping the Wolverines on downs at the Riverdale 18, the Warriors proceeded to march 82 yards in just 2:15, finished by Austin McGrone’s nine-yard dash.
Riverdale forced one more three-and-out by La Vergne on the ensuing drive, and Ricardo Terry returned Dustin Bills’ punt 67 yards for a touchdown to all but ice the game.
La Vergne did manage to get on the board in the first half, albeit in unusual fashion. Trying to spike the ball before time ran out in the second quarter, the Wolverines were whistled for delay of game and the ball was moved back to the Riverdale 18. La Vergne was granted one untimed down and Fore found Chris McGee in the middle of the end zone for the scoring strike.
Fore capped off the Wolverine scoring in the third quarter, when he hit J.J. Horner for a 46-yard pass down the left sideline. Horner finished with 103 yards on five receptions.