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Riverdale looks to play fast with new leader

Photo by Derrick Mahone
New Riverdale offensive coordinator Terrone Owens will employ a new no-huddle offense for the Raiders this upcoming season.

Photo by Derrick Mahone New Riverdale offensive coordinator Terrone Owens will employ a new no-huddle offense for the Raiders this upcoming season.

RIVERDALE — One of the first calls that Terry Herrod made when he was named the new coach at Riverdale was to Terrone Owens, a longtime associate.

Herrod wanted him to run his offense.

Owens had spent last season as the offensive line coach at Langston Hughes, but spent the last few seasons as the offensive coordinator at Arabia Mountain in DeKalb County.

Herrod is confident that Owens’ up-tempo, spread offensive scheme will work well for his talented offensive crew.

“These kids that we have will have been in the system for three years,” Herrod said. “They have real good timing and chemistry. This offense is sort of second nature to them.”

Riverdale must replace its top two rushers from last season in Tikeem Cooper and Kamhad Magwood, who have graduated. The two combined for 1,514 yards and 13 touchdowns last season as the Raiders finished with a 7-4 record and reached the first round of the Class AAAA playoffs.

It was their first playoff appearance since the 2005 season.

With the return of quarterback Greg Taylor and top receiver Rashad Canty, Herrod is confident the offense will produce under Owens. Last season, Taylor was a part-time starter, but inherited the job full time when Asania Alderhold transferred after the season.

Canty, who has garnered some Div. I offers, led the team with 30 receptions for 567 yards and nine touchdowns.

“I’m real excited about this season, and this offense,” Taylor said. “Basically nothing has really changed. We will play fast-paced football in this offense. We are basically running the same plays with different names. Our whole strategy is to catch the defense off guard.”

So far, everyone involved has liked what they have seen in the offseason while participating in 7-on-7 passing league drills.

The Raiders revamped offense will resemble that of Louisiana Tech, Texas Tech and Kentucky’s high-octane attacks this fall.

“I have some very high expectations for this team and offense,” said Owens, who was hired after spring drills last month. It is basically the same offense with a little more flavor. We have a lot of playmakers.”

Herrod agreed, but added some caution about the team’s summer success.

“I feel good where we are at,” Herrod said. “These tournaments are giving us a lot of confidence as we move forward. We can’t get too caught up in these 7-on-7 because the players don’t have on any pads. Overall, I will say that we are a little ahead of where I thought we would be going into the summer.”

Herrod said the players “intelligence” has helped them get a firm grasp on the offense in a short period of time. The players say it is a fun offense, and look forward to running it this fall.

“I think it has been good so far,” Taylor said. “It is a real good pace with the no-huddle offense. It was pretty easy to learn with the only difference is the plays are called something different. I see a lot of progression in the guys in these short weeks.”