The Riverdale Warriors needed an offensive spark in the second quarter Friday night.
Quarterback Dillon Woodruff provided that spark, a play-action deep pass to Ricardo Terry for a 71-yard touchdown. That got things going for the Warriors’ offense as they went on to defeat the Maplewood Panthers 48-12.
“We came out a little bit slow, we needed something big, and it just happened to be that pass to get things going,” said Woodruff, who threw for 170 yards. “The line did really great all night. They gave me time to pass.”
It was the first of two long scoring passes for the duo as they scored on a 47-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors were held scoreless in the first quarter, and their offense struggled to move the ball on the ground against the Panthers. They also hurt themselves with illegal procedure penalties, twice putting themselves in third-and-long situations.
“We did get off track a little bit. I thought they did a good job against the run.” said Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott. “We were able to exploit them with the play-action pass. That’s part of our offense, and if we execute those things it makes us better.”
After the touchdown pass, the Warriors struck again on their next possession with another deep pass. Woodruff hit Tad Onwu for 46 yards, putting him on the Maplewood 5. Mariko Odom scored on a 2-yard touchdown run to finish the drive.
Later in the first half, Riverdale scored again on a 5-yard touchdown run by Peyton Phillips.
The Panthers struck back in the third quarter, driving from the 27 into the end zone. Quarterback Ladarious Wimberly scored with a 17-yard run.
Things got sloppy for Riverdale. The Warriors fumbled on the next play from scrimmage, and Maplewood’s Kendrick Watts grabbed the ball and took it in the end zone from 17 yards away, cutting the gap to 21-12.
But the Warriors regained control of the game, scoring on a 69-yard run by Odom on their next drive. He led the Warriors with 151 rushing yards.
The Warriors (4-0) went on and scored three more touchdowns in the final quarter.
Maplewood dropped to 2-2 with the loss.
“We schedule teams like Riverdale because we want to get better,” said Maplewood coach Arcantae Broome. “We want to be at their level. For awhile, we looked like we had the intention of making it a very good game. We played two good quarters. The first quarter, it was zero-zero, and the third quarter. The guys have to learn how to play four quarters.”