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Prep football: Riverbend overcomes mistakes, wins second straight
BY NICK ST. DENIS
The Riverbend Bears amassed nearly a football field-and-a-half’s worth of penalty yards, allowed 163 yards rushing to one player and didn’t score on three consecutive red-zone trips.
One more thing–they won.
Riverbend overcame that much, and perhaps more, in a 22–19 Commonwealth Dis trict victory over Brooke Point.
“When you play that bad, and win, it’s a God thing,” Riverbend coach Tony De Marco said twice after the game.
The Black-Hawks (0–3, 0–1) were more disciplined than the Bears for more than three quarters, but Brooke Point’s errors were much more costly.
Brooke Point took control of the game with 10:51 remaining when Tyus White found the end zone via an Alexander Cox pass to give his team a 19–7 lead.
But that’s precisely when things unraveled.
Running back Johnathan Horsley, who picked up all of Brooke Point’s positive yardage on the ground, couldn’t get in on the two- point conversion.
Horsley was then flagged twice after the play and spent the remainder of the game on the sideline.
The pair of penalties gave Riverbend (2–1, 1–0) ex tremely favorable field posi tion, and the Bears didn’t waste any time responding.
Eric Byrd drove forward on a 1-yard quarterback keeper a minute and
a half later, and Zach Sims converted on a run to cut Brooke Point’s lead to four points.
Riverbend got the ball back and started another drive, which was kept alive by tight end Jamie Deason’s very tough catch down the right sideline, putting Riverbend in scoring position.
“That was crazy, to be honest, I didn’t expect the ball to come to me,” Deason said, adding that Byrd told him he’d be going to either Deason or Conner Booren on the play.
“[Conner] caught an amazing ball earlier in the game,” Deason said. “But I ran and turned, and it was up. I reached out and just reeled it in.”
Deason was unable to haul in a potential fourth-and- long touchdown pass later in the drive, but he didn’t need to.
The Black-Hawks backed themselves to their own 5- yard line thanks to a pair of penalties before Riverbend linebacker Kyal Curry recov ered a Brooke Point fumble in the end zone.
Curry’s score would be the game-winner.
“Our defense, we were just like, ‘We need to make a play right now,’” said Deason, who started at middle linebacker for the first time in his varsity career. “And we made it happen.”
Eddie Reyes picked off Brooke Point quarterback Alexander Cox on the next series to ice it.
“The ending, it was just crazy,” Deason said. “I’m so happy right now.”
Cox’s end-of-game pick didn’t overshadow what was an explosive showing for the senior signal-caller, as he completed three passes of 32 yards or longer, including a 51-yard scoring strike to Aaron Sanders on his first completion of the game, and he added the touchdown pass to White later on.
Horsley scored Brooke Point’s second touchdown on a second-quarter run, and Byrd scored the game’s only other touchdown on a 9-yard run late in the first half.
Riverbend 0 7 0 15 — 22
Brooke Point 0 13 0 6 — 19
BP-A. Sanders 51-yard pass from A. Cox (M. Moreno kick)
BP-J. Horsley 1-yard run (kick failed)
Rb-E. Byrd 9-yard run (H. Mills kick)
BP-T. White 8-yard pass from A. Cox (pass failed)
Rb-E. Byrd 1-yard run (Z. Sims 2-pt run)
Rb-K. Curry fumble recovery in end zone (H. Mills kick)
First downs@13 10
Rushing yardage@35-161 28-150
Passing yardage@187 173
Rushing: Brooke Point—Jonathan Hors ley 25-163, TD; Jeramey Manuel 2-(-2); Alex Cox 1-(-11). Riverbend—Eric Byrd 20- 63, 2TD; DaVonte Christmas 4-48; Zach Sims 10-47; Eddie Reyes 1-3.
Passing: Brooke Point—Alex Cox 8-19-1 173, 2TD. Riverbend—Eric Byrd 15-29-0 187.
Receiving: Brooke Point—Tyus White 4- 84, TD; Aaron Sanders 1-51, TD; Brandon Griffin 1-27; Kai Russ 1-9; Reginald Collins 1-2. Riverbend—Matt Capozza 8-74; Jamie Deason 4-51; Conner Booren 1-35; Ian Dario 1-15; DaVonte Christmas 1-12.
Nick St. Denis: 540/374-5440 firstname.lastname@example.org