7-0 Riverside’s passing attack too much for Lakeland, 44-13
Lakeland started their first drive at their own 24 yard line. After the hitch play to Vinnie Amacio, by far the most consistent and overused play in their arsenal; they got a first down and brought new life to the raging and hungry crowd. But, 3 plays later, Lakeland punted the ball away, putting the ball in the hands of the best offense in their district. Velehoski, who had been solid before this, showed why he may be a college quarterback, as his arm strength, accuracy, touch, smarts, and quickness were demonstrated on this 58 yard drive, finished off with a touchdown pass to his favorite receiver, Senior Kevin Sochovka, for a 12 yard score. Riverside would convert their first 2 point conversion, and stay in the lead, 20-0. By the end of the first quarter, Riverside QB John Velehoski already was 6-7, 94 yards passing and 2 scores. This was to be a common scenario throughout the remainder of this game.
After two poor drives of both teams to start the second quarter, Lakeland finally got in a scoring position, lead by under-used running back Brett Kuwick, Junior, who has been stuck behind the plethora of good Lakeland running backs. He was the force on the drive, and set Lakeland up in the red zone for the first time. Then, a perfectly executed reverse to receiver and backup quarterback Tony Perrigrin, who proceeded to throw a tight spiral into the wide open arms of outstanding Senior receiver Vinny Amacio. Now that Lakeland was on the board, it seemed as though this game could get back into reach.
That, however, was short lived. Riverside went on an 80 yard drive, thanks to the outstanding accuracy of Velehoski and the timing between him and his top 4 receivers, Sochovka, Sr. Ryan Chisdock, So. Corey Talerico, and Rossi. The drive was capped off by a spectacular, NFL type bobbling catch over the outstretched arms the tightly covering defender. After converting another 2 point conversion, Riverside took the lead to 28-7, and put the game into almost cruise control for both teams going into the half. The biggest stat at half time was the difference in quarterback stats. Lakeland QB Jr. Ryan Kiehart, who has tons of talent and should be great next season, was a respectable 5-7 for 36 yards. His counterpart for the game, Riverside Sr. QB John Velehoski was 12-15 for 189 yards and 2 TDs.
The second half was very similar to the first. Lakeland had a solid drive to start the second half, but an incomplete pass killed that drive which was inside the Riverside 25. Riverside then went 77 yards in a drive that took over 8 minutes, finishing it off with another TD pass by Velehoski to RB Matt Talerico. With the score now 36-7 Riverside, the once jam-packed stadium was slowly beginning to look like your average Tampa Bay Ray’s regular season game. Even though Vinne Amacio did catch a finger-tip grab and ran 50 more yards for a 66 yard TD, cutting the lead to 36-13, the game was still thought of as over.
After a 4 and turnover for both teams, Riverside showed their first and only sign of poor play, as the near perfect John Velehoski through an interception to Sr. DB Dom Massino. Lakeland wouldn’t be able to capitalize on that drive, and after one more Riverside score by Andrew Kavulich with both second team’s in, the game would slowly, but surely end.
The final score of 44-13 is a good indicator of how the game actually was. Riverside dominated 95 percent of the game, allowing only 2 good drives and 1 deep pass play defensively. And on offense, John Velehoski finished 17-24 for 297 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception. Not bad for a 29 man roster at a small high school. Also, Sr. RB Matt Talerico had 21 carries for 124 yards and a score.
Riverside’s offense is definitely one to watch, and the only team I know of that has a chance to beat them is Dunmore. So, instead of roaming the streets rummaging for candy, check out the biggest game in our area in quite a while, when Dunmore travels to Riverside to play a game of small school forces.
Check out www.NFLHouse.com, and feel free to email me at
Follow EasternPAFootball.com on Twitter @EPAFootball
Share This Post: