In a battle of two undefeated middle school football teams, Riverside beat Greenbrier on Tuesday night at the Brierpatch by a final score of 28-6.
Heading into the game, the Wolfpack led the area with wins over Lakeside Middle and Grovetown Middle. Riverside had won their only game of the season before challenging Greenbrier for the area's top spot.
Riverside recognized the importance of the game and wasted no time in their push for bragging rights in the area.
"We've been talking about this game since the beginning of the season," Riverside eighth-grader Charles Wills said. "I told myself if I get the ball I was going to try my best."
Wills' best came on the game's first play from scrimmage. The tailback took the ball straight up the middle for a 58-yard touchdown run.
Greenbrier quickly answered on their first possession of the ball game with a 4-minute, 63-yard drive capped by LaTeef Dailey's 12-yard touchdown run. Greenbrier's ensuing two-point conversion failed, keeping Riverside's lead at 8-6 after the first quarter.
Late in the first half, Riverside faced fourth down and inches from the Greenbrier 38-yard line. Instead of running to pick up the short first down, Riverside quarterback Justin Pitock took to the air and found Kendrick Wilson for a 38-yard touchdown score.
Wilson struck again in the third quarter as the eighth-grader returned an interception for a touchdown.
"We had something to prove to them," Wilson said after the game. "We proved to them we don't have a lame offense."
Riverside seventh-grader Wesley Turner sealed the win midway through the fourth quarter with a 72-yard touchdown run to give the Eagles a 28-6 victory.
"When you play like you want to play, nobody in the county can run with you guys," Riverside head coach Dan King told his boys after the game.
The win propelled Riverside past Greenbrier in the area standings and put the Eagles in a tie for first place with Evans Middle.
Evans Middle also was in action Tuesday, defeating Lakeside Middle 28-22 to improve to 2-0 on the season. Riverside will meet Evans for a battle that could decide the area championship Sept. 27 at Evans Middle.
Although winning is important to the Riverside Middle team, King said, the purpose of middle school football is a bit different from high school varsity football.
"This should give them the opportunity to know if they want to play the game in high school," he said.
Wilson, whose two touchdowns were big in the Riverside win, said he's decided to play in high school, but hasn't decided whether playing offense or defense is more fun.
"I like playing offense," he said, "but on defense you get to give hits instead of receive them. I like that."
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