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Riverside over Dunmore

Written by: on Sunday, November 2nd, 2008. Follow Eric Galko on Twitter.

 
While some teenagers were out rummaging the streets for candy, the 29 manned Riverside team and the Dunmore unit of 52 were out this Halloween evening trying to make a statement. Both of these teams coming into this game were undefeated. Both team’s had the right to say that they were the best in the area. Dunmore because of last year’s run in the state playoffs, only to lose to current Buckeye quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Riverside because they have been averaging a whopping 45 points a game and have the best depth in the area at the skill positions. Tonight, however, that would all be decided. The referee’s, the judge. The fans, the jury. The verdict, the scoreboard.
The emotion of the crowd was shown on their faces. Dunmore, Riverside, and numerous other onlookers were in for a treat in this one, as this game would prove to be worth the hype. Game breaking runs, picture perfect completions, and jaw dropping touchdowns were the theme of this one. However, Riverside was too much for last year’s dominate District II team, and came out with a huge morale victory, 34-20.
After being out with an injury for part of the season, the fans were eager to see what senior running back Joe Klebon would do in this crucial game. It’s safe to say he didn’t disappoint. After Riverside elected to receive the opening kickoff, Joe Klebon returns it for a 95 yard score, sending the 2,000 + Riverside fans into frenzy. After a failed 2 point conversion, Riverside just that quickly had 6-0.
Having watched a few of Riverside’s games this season, I have noticed how gutsy and aggressive the coaches are. On their first kickoff after the Klebon kick return, they try an onside attempt. It was to no avail, but set the stage for the rest of the game plan of this coach. Holding back was not an option. It was go big or go home for him.
Dunmore’s first drive only lasted a minute or so, thanks to the great run stopping of Riverside and a huge sack by senior Ryan Mickavicz. That would force a Dunmore punt, and put the ball back in the hands of the deadly offense lead by Joe Klebon.
Once again, the Riverside coach Harry Armstrong showed why he is one of the best offensive minds in the area. He comes out on the first drive for his offense while being up 6-0, and 4 plays in, goes into the Wildcat offense. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s when the running back lines up behind the center in a shotgun formation, and acts as the quarterback. You’ve seen Darren McFadden run it in college, Ronnie Brown in the pros, and now Joe Klebon for the Riverside Vikings.
Klebon executed the offense with ease, having 2 big runs himself and one to fellow running back/receiver Matt Talerico to get the team inside the 10. The next play, the switch back to the normal offense, and first play, senior quarterback John Velehoski delivers a strike in the end zone to fellow senior receiver Ryan Chisdock for a score. After a converted 2 point conversion, Riverside capitalizes on a 12 play 67 yard, 6 minute drive to put them up 14-0 and in control.
 
Although down 14-0, Dunmore still showed it had a very solid offense. The offense was lead by senior quarterback Miller Holmes, who consistently looked calm in the pocket, able to move and make reads well, and find receivers after his initial option was covered. That would be absolutely necessary throughout this one, and the pressure by Riverside would be breathing down his next all game long. 

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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Leave a Reply

4 Responses to “Riverside over Dunmore”

  1. Riverside says:

    Ya I think Meyers will win by 35.

  2. #22 says:

    riverside blows those meyers city boys gunna knock sum heads off

  3. JJGable says:

    Quote about Riverside’s Joe Klebon from the Scranton Times:

    “Tackling Klebon has always been sort of like tackling a Dodge Ram 1500 hauling a load of hungry pit bulls in the bed, as the driver motors on with his right hand on the wheel and his left hand swinging a baseball bat out the window.”

  4. talent scout says:

    can somebody tell me why 10-0 riverside has to play 1-9 meyers to me it doesn’t make sense MEYERS!!!!!! are you kidding me not to be cocky about riverside anything can happen in a football game BUT lets face it meyers didn’t prove anything this season to deserve a chance to TRY to knock off the vikings.good luck meyers PACK A LUNCH.



Eric