Warriors finally break into win column

Warriors finally break into win column


Warriors finally break into win column



The Riverdale football team withstood a comeback and avoided matching the worst start in program history by notching its first win of the season during a 34-21 victory against La Vergne Friday night.

The Warriors, which entered the contest without ever having lost to the Wolverines, improved their record against their District 7-AAA rivals to 17-0 while getting their first win of the 2013 season too.

“We grew up a little bit tonight,” Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott said. “I’m just proud of this group because our practice habits have been better and I think they finally got to realize that if you practice hard, then good things do happen.”

Riverdale (1-4 overall, 1-2 in 7-AAA) rushed for 312 yards on the night and totaled 403 yards of offense.

Running back Austin Bryant, who was sidelined at the start of the season with a broken right hand, played the entire game with a cast and still led the team in rushing with 124 yards on 15 attempts.

“I owe it all the offensive line and the scheme of the offense,” Bryant said. “Chanton (Pace) and Gene (Odom) did a great job decision-making and all I had to do was just run behind my blockers, so it all goes to them.”

Pace finished with 54 rushing yards on nine carries. He also scored a touchdown.

“It was tough,” Pace said of the team’s 0-4 start to begin the year. “But this feels good. We got a win, that’s all I can say.”

The Warriors’ defense forced four turnovers on the night, including the recovery of a key fourth-quarter fumble on a La Vergne (1-4, 1-2) punt return that allowed Riverdale to eventually put the game out reach.

“We continue to do things to give the other team easy scoring opportunities,” La Vergne coach Stanton Stevens said. “You can’t win when you’re doing things to help the other team.”

Riverdale opened the game with a 61-yard touchdown pass from Odom to wide receiver Tad Onwu on the game’s opening drive.

The Warriors then added two more first-half touchdowns on runs by running backs Austin McGrone and Artavious Collier to build a 21-0 lead with 5:14 left in the first half and the makings of a rout seemed to be unfolding.

But the La Vergne offense, which amassed 320 passing yards in the loss, finally woke up.

The Wolverines scored the game’s next 21 points to pull even with the Warriors at 21-21 entering the fourth quarter. But the comeback wasn’t meant to be.

Riverdale took the lead for good on the sixth play of the final period – an 8-yard run by Pace – and added an insurance touchdown with 6:15 to play in the game – Collier’s second score of the game – after La Vergne’s four turnover of the night on the aforementioned fumbled punt.

La Vergne quarterback C.J. Fore finished 18 of 38 passing for 285 yards and two touchdowns in defeat. He also threw three interceptions.

Running back Maleik Gray finished with 117 total yards while wide receiver Quin Jernighan added 107 yards on eight catches in the loss for the Wolverines. Both scored one touchdown too.


More USA TODAY High School Sports