The Raiders scored five touchdowns in the first half, three of them non-offensive, while taking advantage of every Cardinals’ miscue in the process.
“After two disappointing losses back-to-back, this game was a heck of a way to bounce back,” said Riverwood coach Robert Ingram. “We feel like we’re a much better team than we’ve shown … we got some momentum going tonight, got our confidence up, and we made good things happen.”
The Raiders made quick work of their homecoming opponents, effectively putting the game out of reach by halftime. Riverwood scored in all three phases of the game to take a 35-7 lead at intermission.
The Raiders’ Zack Houston scooped up a fumble on after a bad Osborne quarterback-center exchange inside the Cardinals’ red zone to start the scoring with 10:24 left to play in the first quarter.
Riverwood scored again on Grant Drakeford’s 45-yard halfback option pass to wideout Jonathan Goodson at the 6:14 mark.
Buck Woodcox, who shared quarterback duties with Drakeford on the night, plunged in from the 1-yard line to extend the lead to 21-0 with 2:25 left to play in the first period. That score was set up by yet another lost Cardinals fumble.
Osborne coach Xarvia Smith, admittedly exasperated after the game, offered up a frank assessment of his squad.
“We’ve got a long way to go as a football program and as a football team,” Smith said. “We don’t do the little things well; we play in phases … and we’ve got to turn that around.”
The Raiders padded their lead with 41 seconds left on the clock in the first quarter when Drakeford fielded a punt cleanly and raced 52 yards to the end zone untouched. Teammate Aaron McIntosh added a pick-six for good measure in the second quarter to put Riverwood up 35-0.
The Cardinals tried to muster up some momentum later in the quarter via a few spectacular plays by receiver Timothy Harris.
Harris wrested the ball away from two defenders on a long Kendal Walker pass and racing 68 yards for a touchdown with 4:23 left to play in the first half. On defense, he later hauled in an interception to end a Riverwood scoring threat.
The Raider defense, led by middle linebacker Jermel Johnson, stifled Osborne’s stalwart running back Robert Cooks all night
“He’s our team captain and as our defense goes, he goes,” said Ingram of Johnson. “I thought he played really well tonight. I can say the same about a lot of our kids.”