Riverdale wide receivers Rashad Canty, left, Trey Sanders, middle, and Gerrald Gober have combined for 1,243 yards and 11 touchdowns receiving. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
RIVERDALE — Riverdale opponents have faced a big dilemma when drawing up a game plan.
Do the Raiders’ opponents’ defensive coordinators choose to double cover Rashad Canty and leave Trey Sanders and Gerrad Gober in single coverage?
Or vice versa?
“All our receivers can make plays,” said Canty, who is considered a three-star recruit by several recruiting services.
The trio has combined for 1,243 yards and 11 touchdowns as the Raiders head into a bye week before the Region 4-AAAA play-in games begin.
“We feel like we have had a good season, but you can always think you can do better,” Sanders said. “If the defense takes their eyes off one of us, the other two will get open.”
Injuries have been the biggest reason that the Raiders have struggled some this season. Canty missed the first game of the season with a shoulder injury. Senior quarterback Greg Taylor missed two games this season with an ACL injury. He returned on Friday in the Raiders’ loss to Jonesboro in a key Region 4-AAAA, Div. B match-up.
But when the receiving trio and Taylor are healthy, they have been a dangerous combination.
“This is a big-time senior group,” Riverdale offensive coordinator Terrone Owens said. “These players have taken control and helped the younger players out. I knew this group had a lot of potential when I first saw them on film. It was just a matter of tapping into that potential.”
Like the majority of the Riverdale coaching staff, this is Owens first season at the school. New coach Terry Herrod hired him in the summer to run the offense.
The team didn’t change the majority of the offense from the previous year, which produced the school’s first playoff appearance since the 2005 season.
“This is an offense that we were comfortable with,” Canty said.
Sanders has been used in a variety of spots in the offense. He has 22 carries for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns. On the special teams, he has returned seven kickoffs for touchdowns.
“He is the sleeper of the group,” Owens said. “He is a baller. He does things on offense and the special teams for us.”
The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder is also the smallest of the receiver trio. Sanders has yet to get a college offer, but coaches think with the highlight tape he has, it is just a matter of time.
“Coming into the season, the coaches say they were going to use me all over the field,” Sanders said. “I think my versatility has really helped the team.”
Gober has an offer from Div. II Newberry, the 6-foot-5 senior will likely get some more offers after the season. And he is having a breakout season with his 19 receptions.
“I was really inspired coming into the season,” Gober said. “I wanted to help this team, and hopefully get some more scholarship offers.”
And Herrod has been impressed by his receiving trio.
“I can’t say enough about all those guys,” Herrod said. “Rashad has really exceeded my expectations. Gerrad is probably the most coachable players I’ve coached. Trey is a play-maker. We have to get the ball in his hands.”