Riverside over Dunmore
To start their second drive, a good run by junior running back Michael Perry and a good catch by fellow junior Michael Ehnot would give the team some signs of hope, but a failed conversion on 3rd and 5 would force the Bucks to punt the ball once again. Miller Holmes played well despite pressure, but Riverside quarterback John Velehoski really impressed in this one. Starting from the team’s own 9 yard line, his great accuracy and help from his backs, seniors Joe Klebon and Matt Talerico, lead the team right down the field. In only 3:40, this explosive Riverside offense drove 91 yards, capped off by a 9 yard Klebon run. After a successful 2 point conversion, the score was now at 22-0 Riverside.
After another failed onside kick attempt gave Dunmore the ball in great field position at their own 45 yard line. And, after some good runs by Michael Perry and a few nice completions to various receivers, quarterback Miller Holmes made his first bad pass of the game, throwing an interception to Matt Talerico, ending the first good drive the Bucks had.
Another great drive by the Vikings lead by some great, tight-balled throws to a few receivers, Joe Klebon included, got the team down inside the 20 yard line. And, another great post route pass to senior Corey Schuster in the back of the end zone gave the team another score on a fantastic bobbling catch. A failed 2 point conversion would give the Vikings a 28-0 lead.
The Bucks weren’t ready to end the half yet, however, as with only a little under 2 minutes left, Dunmore began their best drive of the game. A screen pass, a quick slant, and a deep bomb along the sidelines gave Dunmore the ball at the Riverside 6 yard line. A spectacular and maybe debatable catch one handed in the corner of the end zone by junior tight end Brian Copeland. A good extra point gave the Bucks a 28-7 comeback score to keep the game a little closer at half.
To start the 2nd half, Dunmore would get the ball and keep the momentum rolling. A few solid plays and a 53 yard touchdown catch by junior Jim Malone and a converted extra point cut the Riverside lead down to 28-14. As Dunmore started to show some signs of life on offense, the Riverside bench and fans began to show a sense or worry about them.
And, as Riverside began the next drive, they were shut down by the Buck defense, stopped on a 4th and 3 and gave the ball back to Dunmore at the Riverside 34 yard line. But, after an offensive pass inference call against the Bucks and a poor screen pass, the Bucks would be forced to punt on 4th and 23.
The punting game, however, proved to be very successful, as this one would be downed inside the 2 yard line for Riverside to start their drive. But, a quick inside slant to Matt Talerico turned into something much more than that. After shedding 2 defenders and outrunning the rest of the Bucks, Talerico scampered 98 yards for a score, bringing life back into the Riverside crowd, giving the players some new confidence, and the score of 34-14.
Dunmore, however, would answer, with a 70 yard drive of their own, capped off by a tough 2 yard run by Michael Perry. The score, after a failed 2 point conversion, would be 34-20.
Although both team’s put up points and brought excitement to the game in the start of the 3rd quarter, that would end up to be the final score. Dunmore’s resurgence in the 2nd half would be stopped by great defensive play by the whole Riverside defense, lead by senior Kevin Sochovka. The Dunmore defense also shut down the Riverside offense after that, lead by Mr. Everything junior Michael Perry.
This game lived up to the enormous hype, as both team’s showed signs of great play and great excitement. The obvious player of the game was senior Joe Klebon and fellow senior offensive lineman Tom Bennie, both of which were hugged by Riverside coach Harry Armstrong III after they walked off the field for the final team. This senior laden Riverside team looks like they are on pace to be one of the best teams in class A. Dunmore, however, has a lot to be proud of for this game, including some solid quarterback play, and great defense late in the game. Both teams should be top contenders to go far in the state playoffs, and on behalf of the entire district, everyone wishes them the best of luck.
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