By Doug Gorman
The Riverdale High School football team went from elation to instant deflation Friday night at Twelve Oaks Stadium in their game against Region 4-AAAAA McIntosh.
Trailing McIntosh with just seconds to go in the game, Anthony Edwards appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown on a fourth-down plunge from the 1, but as soon as he crossed into the end zone an official threw a flag and called holding on the Raiders.
That moved the ball back to the 10, and on the very next play from scrimmage, quarterback Tim Johnson slipped on the wet turf ending the Raiders' hopes for a homecoming victory as McIntosh held on for a 10-6 victory.
The loss drops Riverdale to 4-3. McIntosh improves to 3-4.
"There's not a whole lot we can do about it (that call)," said a disappointed Riverdale head coach Rodney Hackney. "That's football. The sun is going to come up tomorrow, and on Monday I'll get back to work."
It was also a homecoming of sort for McIntosh head coach Butch Prosser. Prosser and Hackney were both assistant coaches on head coach Jackie Green's staff at Mt. Zion, and the two coached together on the 1999 team that played for the state title against Oconee County.
Prosser wasn't thinking about his return to Twelve Oaks Stadium, he was just glad the Chiefs were able to hold on for the victory.
"This is a great win for us," said Prosser. "It doesn't matter who it was against. This keeps our playoff hopes alive. The holding call helped us, but we have been playing hard the past couple of weeks."
The last second holding penalty killed a drive of nearly six minutes.
After a 47-yard punt by McIntosh, the Raiders took over on their own 8 and methodically went to work against the McIntosh defense.
The Raiders kept the ball on the ground for most of the drive, but a 36-yard pass from Johnson to Chris Mingo, moved Riverdale deep into the Chiefs' territory.
In a game that took just two hours to play, both teams spent most of the region contest running the football.
Riverdale finished the contest with 189 yards of total offense, while the Chiefs tallied 165 yards.
McIntosh scored its points on its first series of each half.
After stopping Riverdale on fourth down at its own 31 to open the game, the Chiefs went to work on a 69-yard, 15-play drive.
Naddar Juron gave McIntosh a 3-0 lead when he booted a 23-yard field goal.
Riverdale scored its only points of the game on the next series when Reeves Normiez found the end zone on an 8-yard run with 9:27 remaining in the first half.
McIntosh running back Thomas Beck scored the game-winning touchdown with 7:35 remaining in the third quarter when he found the end zone on a 2-yard run for McIntosh.
The Chiefs won the game despite turning the ball over three times, two on interceptions from Jerome Touchstone and Rod Copeland and one on a fumble.
Riverdale plays at Fayette County next week, while McIntosh faces Starrs Mill.