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Prep Football: Newcomer helps boost Bears
BY NICK ST. DENIS
Lance DaSilva’s name was called at the beginning of the week.
It was called again at the end of the week.
DaSilva, a sophomore, was pulled up from the Riverbend junior varsity team to handle kickoff and long field goal duties in the varsity team’s Commonwealth District bout with Mountain View Friday night,
When Riverbend coach Tony DeMarco said he needed DaSilva, he wasn’t kidding.
DaSilva booted a 38-yard field goal attempt through the uprights with 3:42 remaining in the fourth quarter, lifting Riverbend (3–1, 2–0) to a 16–14 comeback victory.
“My coach just told me to look for a small area, and go for that,” DaSilva said. “And I kicked it.”
The kick completed Riverbend’s second straight comeback win and third triumph in a row.
DaSilva said he “didn’t know what to expect” in his first varsity game, but he was just fine with the way it turned out.
Riverbend had a chance to gain its first lead of the night with 5:14 remaining in the game after quarterback Eric Byrd capped off a 72-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.
However, the Bears were unable to convert on a two-point conversion via the air and still trailed by one.
DeMarco said Riverbend was “not at all” deflated by the failed conversion.
Mountain View (2–2, 0–2) appeared poised to put an end to the game when it marched down the field to the 25-yard line on its ensuing possession.
But as it did last week, Riverbend did the improbable, forcing a fumble and recovering possession.
The Bears then completed the eventual game-winning drive before defensive end Patrick Harter sacked Mountain View quarterback Elijah Burress to help Riverbend’s defense to suffocate the Wildcats’ late surge.
Riverbend’s defense held up on a fourth-and-17 play, and Byrd was able to take a couple of knees to end it.
“That’s honestly the best way to win games,” DeMarco said of Riverbend’s recent come-from-behind performances, “because [the players] gain so much from it.”
Mountain View took early control of the game with scoring drives of 67 and 48 yards on its first two possessions.
Burress had a 41-yard pass to DaeSean Hamilton on the opening drive and found the end zone on a 1-yard scamper, and Burress later hit Quinton Gray on a screen pass that went 41 yards for a score.
The Wildcats’ ability to prevent yards after the catch forced Riverbend to use nearly ever down on every series.
“Mountain View is so well-coached,” DeMarco said. “I mean, that’s one of the best tackling teams I’ve ever seen in my life.
“We knew we had our work cut out for us.”
Mountain View’s Dalton Fraser was impressive punting the ball, as he pinned Riverbend on its own 5-yard line twice in the second quarter on boots of 43 and 45 yards.
Riverbend’s Zach Sims scored his team’s other touchdown on a 1-yard run in the third quarter, and Sims’ teammate, DaVonte Christmas, grabbed the game’s lone interception in the second quarter.
The Christmas pick was big, because it stalled a Mountain View drive that could’ve put the Wildcats up by three touchdowns.
Next Friday, Riverbend hosts North Stafford and Mountain View hosts Massaponax.
Mountain View 14 0 0 0 — 14
Riverbend 0 0 7 9 — 16
MV-E. Burress 1-yard run (D. Fraser kick)
MV-Q. Gray 40-yard pass from E. Burress (D. Fraser kick)
Rb-Z. Sims 1-yard run (H. Mills kick)
Rb-E. Byrd 1-yard run (pass failed)
Rb-L. DaSilva 38-yard field goal
First downs12 12
Rushing yardage22-86 33-137
Passing yardage160 36
Rushing: Riverbend—Zach Sims 16-97, TD; Eric Byrd 14-27, TD; Jamie Deason 3-13. Mountain View—Elijah Burress 11-36, TD; Kirron Sleydin 7-28; DaeSean Hamilton 3-21; Greg Hoffman 1-1.
Passing: Riverbend—Eric Byrd 9-15-0 36. Mountain View—Elijah Burress 10-17-1 160, TD.
Receiving: Riverbend—Jamie Deason 4-23; Conner Booren 1-5; Matt Capozza 3-4; Jaymz Jackson 1-4. Mountain View—DaeSean Hamilton 6-81; Quinton Gray 1-40, TD; Dillon Smith 2-34; Kevin Hasenecz 1-13.
Nick St. Denis: 540/374-5440