By Jimmy Lay
Turnovers soured Riverdale's homecoming Friday night, not to mention what had been a perfect season for No. 6 state-ranked Raiders.
Tri-Cities capitalized on five Riverdale turnovers, handing the Raiders a 17-3 loss, their first in eight games played during the 2005 season.
The good news is Riverdale still holds its own destiny despite the Region 2-AAAAA loss. The Raiders now prepare to visit Lakewood Stadium Friday to face Douglass in a matchup for sole possession of second place.
"At some point and time all teams face adversity,“ said Riverdale head coach Nick Davis. ”We will bounce back from this and get ready for a tough Douglass team next week."
Tri-Cities opened the scoring with 2:05 to go in the first quarter when Georgio Morgan hit Nikko Williams on a 59-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good and Riverdale trailed 7-0.
The Raiders' fumbled on their next possession when a pitch went awry on a toss sweep, allowing Tri-Cities to recover on the Riverdale 18 yard line. Still, Riverdale's defense held, forcing a 27-yard field goal by Quan Hernandez to increase the Tri-Cities lead to 10-0 with 1:08 to go in the first quarter.
On Riverdale's next possession, it looked as if the Raiders would settle down and move the ball effectively, but not so.
A fumbled option pitch was recovered by the Bulldogs on the Riverdale 38 yard line. From there, it only took Tri-Cities five plays to score, as Juan Torres ended the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run that gave the Bulldogs a 17-0.
Riverdale finally seemed to catch a break late in the first half, driving the ball down to the Tri-Cities 10-yard line. But with 18 seconds to go before halftime, Tri-Cities intercepted Raider quarterback Rod Mason's pass in the end zone.
Trailing 17-0 coming out of the locker room at halftime, Riverdale drove its first possesion down to the 6-yard line before the Bulldogs recovered another Raider fumble.
Riverdale's only bright spot of the night was when sophomore Abdul Cole kept the Raiders from getting shut out by hitting a 39-yard field goal with 11:55 to go in the fourth quarter.