By Jimmy Lay
By Jimmy Lay
For the Daily
Riverdale's season came to a close Friday with a 24-6 loss at Starr's Mill in the first round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs but not despite outgaining, and at times outplaying its opponent.
The Raiders were led by junior junior Kelvin Colbert's 110 yards rushing on only six carries to go with the Raider's lone score. Sophomore wideout Rashad Tukes caught 4 passes for 111 yards.
Offensively, the Raiders, who finished a solid season at 6-5, managed to outgain their opponent 325 yards to 161. But the team saw little results for their efforts on the scoreboard.
Instead, the Panthers capitalized on what slim opportunities they were given while Riverdale struggled offensively.
"We are never going to be happy with just making it into the playoffs," said Riverdale head coach Nick Davis. "Our kids understand that and I know we will be back next year."
While the Raider defense was stifling in the first half, holding Starr's Mill to only 24 total yards and one first down, Riverdale went to halftime scoreless despite gaining 135 yards.
Twice Riverdale penetrated the Starr's Mill 20-yard line, but failed to score. A 36-yard field goal failed due to a mishandled snap on one effort, while a fumble inside the 10-yard line kept the Panthers in the game.
Starr's Mill used that momentum to strike first on Antonio Scott's 92-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff of the second half. The extra point was true and the Panthers led 7-0.
Riverdale managed to respond, however, putting together a march on their next possession when Colbert took an inside handoff and raced 78 yards for a touchdown.
The Raiders seemed to catch a break when they missed the extra point on another mishandled snap, but got a second chance as a result of a Starr's Mill penalty. But with Riverdale attempting a two-point conversion, Normiez Reeves was stopped a yard short to leave Riverdale trailing 7-6.
The Panthers' offense finally awoke as well in the third quarter. Running back Kyle McCreary found a hole and rushed 56 yards down to the Raider goal line. On the next play McCreary dove into the endzone to up the Panthers lead to 14-6.
The Raider offense was cold the rest of the third quarter and into the fourth. That put a tired Riverdale defense on the field too long. Starr's Mill would go on to put 10 more points to ice the victory.