By Doug Gorman
The Lithonia Bulldogs wanted to spoil the Riverdale High School homecoming football game Saturday night at Twelve Oaks Stadium.
Riverdale wouldn't have any part of that plan.
The Raiders put together a dominating performance on both sides of the line of scrimmage en route to a 42-21 victory.
With the win, the Raiders improved to 3-2.
Leading 28-14 in the second half, the Raiders squelched the Bulldogs' comeback attempt with two touchdowns in a span of three minutes to seize the game's momentum for good.
The biggest spark of the second half came when linebacker Vandral Shackleford picked up a Lithonia fumble and returned it 50 yards for the touchdown with 10:26 remaining in the game.
Lithionia turned the ball back over on its next series helping set up the Raiders' final touchdown of the game.
Chad Morgan did the final scoring honors for the Raiders on a 1-yard scamper.
"It was a really good win for us, but we are still trying to learn how to finish teams off," said Riverdale first-year head coach Nick Davis. "We couldn't do it against Lovejoy and North Clayton and that hurt us.."
Lithonia added one more TD with 27 seconds remaining in the contest to round out the scoring.
Riverdale struck for the first TD of the game at the 6:48 mark of the first quarter when Kelvin Colbert scored on a 3-yard dash into the end zone.
Lithonia tied the game about two minutes later on a 34-yard TD pass, but the 7-7 tie was as close as the Bulldogs could get.
An 18-yard run by Normiez Reeves and a 9-yard run by Colbert closed out the scoring in the first half and gave the Raiders a 21-7 lead at the break.
Riverale opened the second-half scoring with a five-minute drive capped by Rod Mason's 8-yard run.
The Raiders ?defense set the tone for the victory in the first half, holding the Bulldogs to just 18 yards of offense, and getting pressure on the Lithonia quarterback several times throughout the game.
Riverdale hits the road next week against Newton County.