They’re the closest bunch he’s had in his five years at the school. They have a strong brotherhood, and they play for each other.
After beating rival Holy Innocents’ 24-14 Sept. 7 in the Battle of Raider Drive and then North Springs 59-13 Friday to move to 3-0 for the first time since 2005, the Raiders are backing his words up.
With a win Friday at Sequoyah (1-1), the Raiders would be 4-0 for the first time since 1986.
The Golden Bears, who had beaten Riverwood three straight years coming in, scored a touchdown on their first play on a trick option pass from Stephen Williams to Sam Jokerst, but the Raiders dominated the rest of the contest, holding Holy Innocents’ to 2 rushing yards.
Grant Drakeford rushed for 67 yards and three touchdowns, and Riverwood racked up 327 total yards, including 256 on the ground. Jermel Johnson added 85 rushing yards, and Kendall Morrison had five tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery to lead the defensive effort.
Ingram called the trick touchdown pass a play that “takes your breath away” for a minute, but his players were cool on the sideline.
“Everyone staying together and not getting too down, knowing that the game’s not over yet,” Drakeford said.
And that resilience confirmed what Ingram knew about his team.
“That let everybody know right there, ‘Hey, Ingram knows what he’s talking about,’” Ingram said. “This is a close-knit group. Any time you beat a rival like that, and you can throw the [Class] A and AAAAA stuff out the window, that doesn’t matter, the size of the school. Only 11 are going on the field at a time anyway. It’s always big to beat a rival, and for it to be that early in the year makes it even more special.”
The Raiders’ victory over the Spartans Friday extended their winning streak to six games dating to last season. According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, Riverwood last had a streak that long Sept. 22 through Nov. 2, 2001.
That was also the last year the Raiders reached the playoffs.
The Raiders head to Sequoyah Friday for the second of their three crossover games with Division A of Region 7-AAAAA before their own subregion schedule begins Oct. 5 with Kell.
The Chiefs (1-1) are coming off a 3-7 season. They had a bye last week heading into their matchup with the Raiders.
“[Sequoyah’s] going to have big kids and some athletes, and they like to play football and get dirty,” Ingram said. “It’ll be the only game we play on grass this year, so it’ll be a little exciting for us.”