ANTIOCH – Cane Ridge afforded Riverdale every opportunity to run away with the game Friday night, and it took until the sixth drive of the first half for the visitors to oblige.
Starting seven of eight first-half drives in Cane Ridge territory, Riverdale scored touchdowns on the final three en route to a 45-0 victory, the Warriors’ fifth straight win.
It was the sixth drive that sparked the 18-point run. Riverdale (7-1) faced fourth-and-10 at the Cane Ridge 29 and had no hesitation in trying to convert. A 15-yard pass from transfer Cortland Owens to Ben Wells picked up the first, and two plays later, Owens found Canaan Owens in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown pass.
“It was a hard punt situation, and we just decided to go for it,” said Owens, who led Cane Ridge (4-4) to the postseason last year, including a regular-season win against Riverdale. “We were up. We felt like we could handle this team, so we did it, and we did it successfully.”
The passes to Wells and Owens were part of an 8-for-8 streak from Owens for 95 yards. That came after he started 1-for-8 for 2 yards and an interception.
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The Riverdale offense was set up with the great field position after its defense racked up six sacks in the first half. Ethan Aurand turned one of the six into a safety when he dropped Tyler Caruthers in the end zone 38 seconds into the second quarter.
“It was a hard week of practice, and it kept us going just playing for each other,” said Austin Ross, who was in on the final three sacks of the half to keep Cane Ridge punting from inside its own 15. Riverdale finished with seven sacks and held Cane Ridge to 1-of-9 on third down through three quarters.
Austin Bryant had the final two touchdowns of the half, scoring from the 4 and 1 on drives that began at the Cane Ridge 41 and 45.
“We’re definitely a momentum team. When it all hits the fan, it makes it harder for the guys because they’re not mature enough yet to overcome that adversity when it hits them,” Cane Ridge coach Jonathan Parks said. “We’re getting better every day, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
All three of Riverdale’s second-half touchdowns resulted from interceptions.