BAXTER SPRINGS - Rivals Baxter Sprigs and Riverton continued their long football tradition in the Lions home swamp (John R Hughes Field). With rain most of Friday, and a steady downpour up to the 7 p.m. kick-off, the beautiful field that that the USD 508 personnel has put together the last few years turned into a muddy marsh land.
The Lions did pull off their first win of the young season, despite the conditions, with a close final of 20-18.
Junior Bryce Johnson got the Rams on the scoreboard less than three minutes into the game. On a quarterback keeper Johnson went along the Lion sideline for over 50 yards.
Midway through the second period the Lions started at their 23. Sophomore Gage Piper crossed the center line to Riverton’s 49 on three runs. Senior quarterback Trey White moved the ball to the 43. Piper then got the Lions to the 38. Junior Austin Hendrix on his 20 yard scamper put the Lions at the 18. After a two yard loss Hendrix, in the left flat, snagged a White pass at the 15. Hendrix scored from there with 2:49 left in the half. With both teams missing their 2-point conversion the teams went to the locker tied at six.
At the end of half the Rams’ quarterback Johnson went down at the north end’s very wet area for about five minutes. With help he was able to leave the field for the remainder of the game. Sophomore tight end Domanick Ricks took over under center.
With 15 seconds off the board in the third quarter, again at the north end, the Lions had a bad snap. Junior Patrick McLaughlin put the Rams up 12-6 with his pick-up and 34-yard run to pay dirt.
Baxter Springs tied the game at 12 at the midway point of the third. After a Ram punt, the Lions began at their 47 yard line. Short runs by Hendrix and junior Zach Hill put the Lions at Riverton’s 32. Another White pass to Piper was good in the end zone.
After a holding penalty the Lions started at their 37 yard line. Piper advanced to their 45. Hill broke the Ram line, crossed over, and was stopped at Riverton’s 40. White, on a Ram sideline keeper, went to the 28. To end the third quarter Hendrix moved the Lions to the 23.
White at the opening of the final period scooped up a bad snap, and scrambled to the nine. Senior Koby Stark caught a White pass at the fpur. White on the right side ran the ball in from there. White ran in for two points for what was to become a very important 20-12 lead.
For the next nine minutes a person could expect a sloppy game on a sloppy field. Both teams were assessed five penalties.
Down 20-12 with 2:26, left sophomore Will Shawver stepped in front a White pass, and scored from 47 yards out for 18 points. Needing two points for a tie, a Ram pass was no good on the PAT.
Riverton kept fighting. After a Baxter Springs punt they started at their 17. Following two incomplete passes, Shawver moved the Rams to the 27. A facemask moved them to the 32. After another incomplete pass, and with 16.4 seconds left, a defensive holding moved them to their 42. The Lion's Dawson Adams ended the game with a quarterback sack.
Baxter Springs (1-1) will travel to Pittsburg to play St. Mary’s-Colgan this Friday. The Class 1A Panthers won their first two games against Columbus 40-6, and Frontenac 14-0. Riverton (0-2) will entertain Springfield Lighthouse Christian for the first time. Lighthouse Christian defeated Diamond 50-6 last week.