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Raiders streak into region battle with unbeaten record

By Anthony Rhoads

Riverdale head coach Rodney Hackney would rather forget about last year's meeting with Starr's Mill.

Last season at Twelve Oaks Stadium, the two squads played to a 20-20 tie at the end of regulation and in overtime they each scored a touchdown.

The teams swapped touchdowns in the overtime period but a failed 2-point conversion made the difference and Riverdale lost 27-26

Now, the Raiders (3-0) are trying to block that heartbreaking loss out of their minds as they prepare to face Starr's Mill (1-2) this Friday at Starr's Mill.

"We're trying to forget about last year," Hackney said. "That's already in the archives now. It was a hard loss."

Riverdale enters the Region 4-AAAAA opener with an undefeated record and are coming off a victory last week against county rival Morrow.

"I'm glad we're 3-0," Hackney said. "It's early in the season but we're glad to be 3-0 instead of 1-2 going into this game. I feel like we still have to improve and play hard but we'll be okay. It should be a good football game and I like our chances."

Riverdale's offense is in high gear through the first three games of the season, scoring 41 points against North Clayton, 27 against Redan and 42 last week against Morrow.

"I've been very pleased with two young backs this year," Hackney said. "Doug Jennings and Kevin Colbert are both sophomores but they've done a good job this year. It's good to see younger guys who have come up and done good."

One of the reasons the backfield has been doing a good job is the play of the offensive line.

"It's early in the season but they are the best offensive line as far as blocking that I've had here this early in the season," Hackney said. "They are really jelling as a unit."

Some offensive linemen who have been standing out individually include guard Alberto Estrada and tackles Carlos Ware and Greg Ransom.

Hackney knows his team will have to be ready to play on defense against Starr's Mill.

"It's hard to stop the wing-T," Hackney said. "(Starr's Mill) coach (Mike) Earwood runs so many things at you, it's hard to prepare. You just have to try to prepare for what they do the most. It should be a good game but I hope this year it will go in our favor."