ERIE ? “We jumped out of the get go with energy and played well,” said Riverton’s Coach Derrick Rider after the Rams 30-14 win on the Erie home field. “But that didn’t last long.”
In a soft spoken scolding to the players in the after game team huddle, Rider said to the boys “we need to prepare everyday to get better ? we need to stay focused in practice. We weren’t at times. We had a less than good Thursday practice.”
Erie started the game with a second play fumble to Riverton on the Ram’s 30. With a 7-yard pass from Greyson Spriggs to tight end Jacob Qualls, runs by KeyShawn Walker and Spriggs and after a penalty the ball was back to the 14 yard marker. Chandler Underhill swept left to right for the Rams first touchdown. Nolan Wall kicked the extra point. Both teams struggled on offense the remainder of the quarter.
Early in the second period, after an interception by Riverton’s Austin Powell and a return to the 9, Walker pushed his way across the goal line for a 13-0 lead.
With 2:04 left in the half, Erie’s Justin Hartzell caught a wide open Keeton Page on a 35 yard strike to close the gap 7-13. Even though most of the Red Devils’ plays were on the ground, the Hartzell to Page connection worked again with a 36 yarder for a 14-13 lead. These were Erie’s only pass completions for the game. The Red Devils seemed to have the momentum but it was short-lived.
On the kick-off, Underhill with an up-the-middle run moved the ball 29 yards. Neal then ran an option right for a 61 yard score. Spriggs ran the 2-point conversion. In 23 seconds the Rams regained the lead 21-14.
Walker added a Riverton safety at the 6:56 mark with an Erie bad punt snap.
The Rams added another touchdown with 3:03 left in the game. A pass from Spriggs to Dylan Weaver moved the ball to the 45. Spriggs ran 10 yards, Walker 12, Spriggs 5, and Walker another 10 yards. Underhill ran 7 yards to the 1 yard line to set up the quarterback sneak by Spriggs. Again, Wall kicked the extra point.
“We came out the second half and executed better,” Spriggs said after the game. “Our line came together at the end.”
The Rams managed 11 first downs to the Red Devils 4. Riverton had 208 yards rushing verses 111 for Erie. The rushing was lead by Spriggs with 16 carries for 76 yards. Neal with his 61 yard TD finished with 64. Walker rushed 9 times for 36 and Underhill 5 for 28 yards.
Spriggs had 89 yards passing led by Hunter Deckard with 2 receptions for 51 yards. Underhill with 3 returns netted 74 yards.