By Doug Gorman
Riverdale head football coach Nick Davis wasn't really happy about having to play this week's game against Morrow on Thursday night.
As it turned out, the short-practice week worked out just fine for the Raiders as they rallied to beat Morrow 20-7 at Tara Stadium in the Region 2-AAAAA opener for both teams.
The win improves Riverdale's record to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in region play. Morrow dropped to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the region.
For a time, it appeared Riverdale wouldn't even get a chance to run an offensive play in the first quarter.
On the first series of the game, Morrow kept the ball nearly nine minutes and marched 78 yards for the score.
Morrow benefitted from three Riverdale penalties in the series to keep possession of the football.
Although the Mustangs keep the ball on the ground for most of the series, their only score of the night came through the air when Demterius Williams connected with Javares Dean on a 7-yard screen pass with 3:39 remaining in the quarter.
Morrow recovered the ensuing kickoff and Riverdale didn't run its first play from scrimmage until 1:03 remaining in the first half.
The Raiders scored twice in a span of less than two minutes in the second quarter to take a 14-7 halftime lead.
Jerald Manley set up Riverdale's first score with a 53-yard fumble recovery returned to the Mustangs' 11.
Three plays later, the Raiders were in the end zone when Kelvin Colbert scored on a 2-yard sprint to the end zone.
One player earlier, quarterback Roderick Mason avoided a sack and picked up 9 yards to set up Colbert's score.
Riverdale held on Morrow's next possession, and Colbert returned the punt down to the Morrow 12.
It took Riverdale just two plays to find the end zone. Chad Morgan scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 3-yard run with 4:01 remaining in the first half.
Morgan capped the scoring midway through the third quarter, this time on a 2-yard run.
Place kicker Abdul Cole connected on 2-of-3 extra points. His third attempt bounced off the upright and fell just short.
Riverdale returns to action next Friday against Lovejoy at Twelve Oaks. Morrow returns to action at Tara Stadium against Mundy's Mill.