EASTLAKE–Coming off an impressive 45-0 blowout win over Western Reserve Conference foe Madison, Riverside and its dynamic spread attack picked right back up where it left off with a 42-14 win over host Eastlake North at Nick Carter Stadium.
“They made plays,” said North coach Sean Dodd when asked what Riverside did to largely neutralize his side on the night. “We told the guys at halftime that we needed to start making some plays of our own, and then start stacking those good plays together. We had some guys that were in a great position in the first half to really make some game-changing plays and we just didn’t execute. We’ve got to do a better job coaching and the kids have to do a better job playing.”
North’s offense stumbled out of the gate as the Rangers fumbled the ball away and Riverside capitalized with a Domonic Tromba eight-yard touchdown run that left the Beavers up 7-0.
The Rangers had some success on their next two possessions, thanks mostly to the arm and legs of quarterback Anthony Gallo, but Tromba struck again, this time on a 40-yard run, that pushed the Beaver lead to 14-0 with three minutes left in the opening quarter.
North responded with a seven-minute scoring drive capped off by a Gallo run up the middle that pulled the Rangers to within 14-7 with six minutes to go before the break.
Once again, Riverside answered with a one-yard touchdown run by Brady McKnight that left the Beavers up at halftime, 21-7.
North’s defense stood tall on Riverside’s first drive of the second half but the Rangers went three-and-out on offense. A shanked punt left the Beaver offense positioned at the North 33.
Cameron Simpson made the most of the advantageous field position and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to McKnight.
The Beavers added a 62-yard Simpson to Jake Elly touchdown pass and an 80-yard touchdown run from Jason Mackey to push the lead to 42-7.
“Tonight, I saw our players continue to play hard, but unfortunately that resulted in a number of mistakes and penalties so we’ve got a lot that we need to continue to work on and get better at during the week,” said Riverside coach Dave Bors. “We’ll always take aggressive mistakes – we’ll work with those. If we’ve got to tell them to go faster or play harder or be more physical, that’s when we’ve got a problem. These guys keep improving every week, so we’ll take it.”
North’s Curtis Thomas slashed and dashed his way to a 62-yard touchdown reception to close out the scoring.
With the win, Riverside improved to 4-2 overall while North dropped to 3-3. The Beavers host nationally-ranked Martinsburg (WV) on Saturday while the Rangers look to bounce back at Mayfield.