The Raiders will wait to see how District 12 plays out, but they will have a home game to open their playoff run. Garrett Greenwell has had a tough senior season because of an ankle injury, Thursday night was the junior year version, a tough, physical runner that is tough to bring down. He scored two touchdowns while running for 141 of the 298 yards rushing on 58 carries that Riverdale amassed (senior Jeremy Edwards chipped in 109). He broke loose three times and wore down the Wolfpack defense. Quarterback Nathan Gahafer threw a 22 yard strike to WR/LB Kyle Waldrop (4-44) for the game's first score. Waldrop showed why many coaches feel he is one of the best in the area, he just makes a ton of solid plays. The senior appears to be headed to play baseball at the next level, but he is a heck of a football player.
It was the first loss on the year for the Wolfpack. The offense got off to a slow start in the first half with some costly penalties and they were down 17-7. South was in position four minutes into the third quarter with a first down inside the Raider 15, but were stopped on a Dallas Crawford run on 4th and short. The defense forced a punt, a short one, and they were back in business inside the Raider 30. It was the Raider defense's turn, led by Broderick Sherrod, Waldrop, TyMichael Powell, and Roderick Lindsey, to step up and they held South to a field goal and the score was 17-10.
Riverdale's running attack increased the lead to 27-17 with 3:05 remaining. Crawford (who finished 18-31 for 188 yards) led South down the field for a TD, on a strike to Samuel Watkins (6-99), but the onside kick was recovered by Waldrop and the Raiders ran out the clock.
Riverdale has responded with six straight wins since a week two loss to powerful Charlotte. This team appears built for the playoffs with a strong running game, the ability with Gahafer to throw, and a physical defense. They can use the next three weeks to get healthy and work in some of their solid depth.
South Ft. Myers is still in the playoffs, the junior combination of Crawford and Watkins gives them a chance to win any game and there are talented athletes all over the field. Sophomore RB Terrell Neal has big play ability. They will also have some time to get healthy with an off week before the playoffs, they missed senior Trey Schley tonight on both sides of the ball.