No high school football team in Columbia County has firmly established a dynasty during the past three years.
In the middle school ranks, however, one team has reached a level of winning unmatched by any other football squad in the area. The Riverside Middle School football team, led by head coach Dan King, finished the 2006 season with a win over Columbia Middle School on Tuesday.
The win gave the Eagles a perfect 6-0 record on the season.
It's been that way for the past three years. Riverside Middle hasn't lost a football game since 2003 - a win streak that spans 18 games.
"There's no secret, really; no magic to it," King said. "We practice hard, and the boys listen to what we tell them."
Tuesday's 13-8 win at Columbia Middle was the closest game Riverside has played in a while. Both teams were scoreless at halftime, but Riverside eighth-grader Wesley Turner broke the tie with a touchdown run late in the third quarter.
Ben Wilson kicked the extra point to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead.
Riverside added to the lead midway through the fourth quarter, when eighth-grader Jarrod Ray scrambled 40 yards for a touchdown run.
Riverside's defense allowed a touchdown in the fourth quarter but stopped Columbia Middle's potential game-winning drive late in the game to seal the win. Eagle defender Dre' Adams picked off a Columbia Middle pass with less than 20 seconds left in the game to preserve the three-year 18-game winning streak.
"It was closer than I would have liked," King said, "but I've got to give a lot of the credit to the (assistant) coaches. Coach (Casey) Heckathorn is very knowledgeable with the defense ... Coach Brett Cooper has also been a big help."
King also credited past players for starting the winning streak three years ago. Riverside Middle feeds both Greenbrier and Lakeside high schools, and past Eagle football stars include Greenbrier starting quarterback Nick Richards and Lakeside stars Michael Paul, Jay Price and Kyle Tudor.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.