Speed was the name of the game when Riverview visited Strawberry Crest on Friday night. Not only did the Sharks’ athletes use their quickness to get a 49-6 win, but they also scored enough in the first quarter to start a running clock in the first half.
After missing the opening kickoff and having to start the game at their own 15-yard line, the Sharks marched downfield on the strength of quarterback Stazion Gage’s legs and ended up at Crest’s own 15 in less than seven game minutes. Cheyenne Greaves scored the first touchdown of the game at the 7:08 mark, scooping himself up after losing his footing on a handoff and cutting through the Chargers defense for a 15-yard touchdown. Riverview made it 14-0 shortly after forcing Crest to punt on its first drive: Greaves ran the ball 49 yards for a score on the Sharks’ first snap, with 5:05 left in the quarter.
Riverview got the ball back 16 game seconds later when Devin White picked off a Caleb Goodson pass at Crest’s 46-yard line. Gage took off on a designed run and got to the Crest 5 and, following a false start penalty on the Sharks, he threw a pass in the end zone to Colby Thornton to put his team up, 21-0. Crest’s ensuing drive started at their own 28 and ended at their own 16 when Goodson threw another interception. The Sharks scored a few plays later when White recovered a bobbled snap well enough to run 35 yards for a score.
The Sharks kicked off to Crest and got the ball right back on a fumble. They started at Crest’s 15-yard line, got to the 11 on a short run and finished with Gage throwing another touchdown pass, this time to Kadeem Robinson with 19 seconds left in the quarter. That gave Riverview a 35-0 lead and a running clock for the rest of the game.
Crest once again lost a fumble during a kickoff, which was recovered by Riverview at the Chargers’ 36. This drive bled into the second quarter and ended with a 15-yard run by Gage for a touchdown. Riverview held a 42-0 lead at this point and would not score again until the second half. The Sharks nearly got a touchdown on the last drive of the first half, but Isaiah Doby’s big run was sent back by an illegal block in the back.
The Chargers picked things up a bit in the second half. Crest got the ball back to start the third quarter and, going for it on fourth down, Goodson snuck through the trenches to pick up the Chargers’ first first down of the game. Bryant Lazare then put Crest in Riverview territory with a 25-yard run along the home sideline. Then, Crest was tackled thrice for losses and Goodson’s next fourth-down conversion attempt was snuffed out by Riverview. A potential lost fumble was ruled intentional grounding and Riverview had to start at Crest’s 35-yard line.
Riverview’s next drive bled into the fourth quarter and, just like the final drive of the first quarter, ended with a touchdown. The Sharks drove to Crest’s 5 within seconds of the third quarter ending and Tyriq Thornton broke a few tackles on a short run into the end zone to put his team up, 49-0.
The Chargers finally caught a break on what would be the final drive of the game. After Crest returned the low kickoff to its own 47, Goodson lobbed a deep pass that was picked off by Toby and returned into Chargers territory. However, Riverview was flagged for roughing the passer and a block in the back during the play — which gave Crest the ball right back with a fresh set of downs at Riverview’s 41. Goodson and Miles Jones kept the chains moving and drove to the goal line, setting up a successful quarterback sneak by Goodson with 1:28 to go. The Chargers’ point-after attempt went wide right, though, and time expired before Riverview could do anything else with another drive.
In other area action, Plant City snapped its cold streak with a 42-6 win at East Bay and Newsome broke a halftime tie with Durant to hand the Cougars a 26-14 loss in the Alafia River Rivalry.