A critical Northwest Central Conference matchup did not fall Riverside’s way Friday as visiting Lima Perry came away with a 29-20 win.
Riverside’s Caleb Stevens slips between a pair of Lima Perry defenders during the first quarter of their game Friday in DeGraff. (EXAMINER PHOTO | AARON LABATT)
The Pirates led 20-14 in the third quarter, but the Commodores scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to grab the victory.
Perry sits in a first-place tie with Lehman Catholic atop the NWCC standings at 5-0. The Commodores are now 5-3 overall. The Pirates, who committed four turnovers on the night, fall to 5-3, 4-1.
“We had two turnovers that were critical in the second half,” said RHS head coach Tim McGill. “That stopped our drives and gave them the short field, and then they took advantage of it. It’s hard to win when you don’t win the turnover battle.
“I thought our defense played well and had their backs against the wall a lot. I was proud of the way we played, though. We fought to the end and we are looking to get better next week.”
Neither team was able to move its offense past midfield in the first quarter.
Riverside pinned Perry inside its own 10-yard line with less than two minutes to go in the opening quarter. The Commodores were forced to punt and that helped set up the Pirates’ first score in the the second quarter.
Riverside’s Caleb Stevens, who returned to the field for the first time since suffering an injury in Week 2, scampered in from 11 yards out with 10:45 to go in the second quarter. Gaven Anderson added a two-point conversion to make it an 8-0 advantage for the hosts.
The Commodores found the end zone when Shane Overly scored on a 21-yard run. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the Pirates ahead 8-6 with 2:20 left until the break.
Perry ended up taking the lead later in the second quarter when Dylan Maxwell intercepted a pass and returned it 67 yards for a score. Overly had a two-point conversion run that gave the Commodores a 14-8 lead entering halftime.
Anderson put Riverside back in the game during the opening moments of the second half. He broke free for a 70-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. The extra-point attempt missed, leaving the score knotted at 14-14 with 11:43 left on the clock.
Another Anderson touchdown gave the Pirates the lead. He bulldozed his way up the middle for a 14-yard score in the third quarter. The two-point conversion failed, but Riverside held a 20-14 lead.
Riverside quarterback Kale Long went down on the two-point try with an injury. That forced the Pirates to use Stevens, who started the season at quarterback, to take the reigns of the offense again.
The Commodores regained the lead in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Luke Floyd kept the ball on fourth down and slipped in for an 8-yard touchdown run. Floyd then threw a two-point conversion pass to Shane Overly. That gave Perry a 22-20 lead with 9:36 left in the game.
Lima Perry helped seal its victory by recovering a Riverside fumble on the Pirates’ ensuing possession.
The Commodores added a 2-yard run by Overly with 1:36 remaining.
Anderson led the Pirates’ offense with 144 rushing yards on 16 carries and Stevens had 94 yards on 10 carries. Lucas Roby added 67 rushing yards on five carries.
Defensively, Nick Hall piled up 13 tackles and a sack, Gavin Stallard had 11 tackles, Anderson made 10 tackles and Andrew Racine had nine tackles.
Riverside travels to Ridgemont on Friday for a local NWCC matchup.
COMMODORES @ PIRATES
Lima Perry 0 • 14 • 0 • 15 – 29
Riverside 0 • 8 • 12 • 0 – 20
TEAM STATISTICS LP • RIV
First downs 13 • 10
Total net yards 224 • 301
Rushes/yards 39/176 • 32/301
Passing 48 • 0
Comp-att-int 2-14-1 • 0-3-2
Punts/avg 3/33.3 • 3/32.6
Fumbles-lost 4-0 • 2-2
Penalties-yards 8-75 • 8-90
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