By Doug Gorman
First-year Riverdale head coach Nick Davis learned a little bit about the Raiders' ability to bounce back from adversity.
One week after losing to North Clayton in the season opener, the Raiders had plenty to celebrate Friday night as they put together a dominating 24-0 performance against county rival Morrow, to give Davis his first victory as the Riverdale head coach.
"We came out and scored early, and I think we might have got to relaxed a little bit," said Davis. "We preach to our kids that we have to work to get better everyday and at every practice."
Riverdale built a 10-0 lead at the end of the first half, scoring a TD on its first series of the half, and a field goal right before the break.
Morrow never could get its offense on track and fell to 1-1 on the season . A week ago, the Mustangs jump started their season with a victory against Forest Park.
Riverdale gave Morrow a couple of chances to stay in the game in the first half, fumbling the football deep in the Mustangs' territory, but Morrow couldn't take advantage of its break.
After forcing Morrow to punt on the first series of the game, Riverdale took just two plays to put a TD on its half of the scoreboard.
Sophomore quarterback Rod Mason started the drive by connecting with Marquis Hargrove on an 16-yard pass.
One play later, Normiez Reeves sprinted 34-yards for the score.
Carl Baloney and Reginald Williams recovered Riverdale fumbles midway through the first half after the Raiders had marched deep into the Mustang territory.
Morrow was unable to capitalize on the Riverdale mistakes.
Riverdale made it 10 as time expired as Abul Cole split the uprights on a 27-yard field goal.
The second half was all about ball control for the Raiders as it kept the ball nearly nine minutes on the first series of the third quarter. A roughing the kicker penalty extended the drive for the Raiders, and with 3:05 remaining in the third quarter, Kelvin Colbert scored on a 2-yard scamper.
"We turned the ball over entirely too many times in the first half. It was nothing they did, we just shot ourselves in the foot," Davis said.
Reeves capped the scoring with his second TD of the night, this time on a 10-yard run.
Morrow had its best field position of the game late the first half when a mishandled Riverdale punt gave the Mustangs the ball at the 20.
Corey Jones-Edwards shattered Riverdale's chances to score with his second interception of the game.