Riverside gets ‘redemption’ against rival Columbia

Riverside gets ‘redemption’ against rival Columbia


Lake City, Florida. – “Salvation” was the word of the week about Riverside High School.

It didn’t have to look pretty, like a neat revenge flick. He was a bit gritty and nasty, which seemed to fit the generals’ defense.

Riverside made up for its only loss in the regular season, taking Columbia to nine total yards in the second half. With the defense team and special teams challenging for or making all the Generals points, District rival Riverside knocked Columbia out of the post-season with a 17-3 victory in the District 1-6A quarterfinals Friday night at News4Jax Game of the Week.

The Generals (10-1) had a late meltdown during the regular season contest against Colombia, with six turnover totals and 21 points in the fourth quarter allowed resulting in a two-point loss. That would likely cost Riverside, ranked fifth in the district, the number one spot in the district that could have come with a District 3-6A title.

Instead, the title went to the fourth-seeded Tigers (6-5).

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At the same time, the revenge was good, but there was also the question of post-season progress. So Friday’s win had double meaning for the generals, the News4Jax Super 10 first team.

“He was a bit of both,” said senior linebacker Devin Smith, whose impact and forced recovery sent him relegated in the second quarter for the first result in the game. “At the end of the day, it’s the first round and our goal is to go deeper. But we also saw those earlier in the year and we felt like we played at the time. So the word of the week was ‘redemption’.”

The recovery occurred when the defense kept Columbia out of the end zone despite four turnovers from the Riverside attack, including two fussing in the first two games of the second half. Suppressing the team’s attack and holding it for nine yards in the second half would do just that.

Part of the Tigers’ problem was a leg injury to running back Tony Fulton, who had 42 yards in the first half.

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However, Colombia had some close calls, driving into the Riverside area three times in the first half and coming out without points.

Smith stripped the ball and got it back at Tigers 28 midway through the second quarter. In the next play, quarterback Daniel Plummer hit Jaheim Singletary to go down and lead 6-0.

Columbia finally started moving, moving all the way to Generals 1 with less than a minute left in the half. But the run without a gain was followed by a penalty kick that nullified the quick drop by Marcus Peterson.

After holding a penalty kick in Riverside, put the ball in the 5th inning with 1.3 seconds left. Peterson, the all-doing receiver, lined up as the Wildcat quarterback and rolled to the right. But the defense caught up with him and forced him to leave the border to finish the game.

The Generals knocked the Tigers out of the post-season for the third time in four years, but unlike the previous two calls, this looked like an inevitable outcome in the third quarter after Riverside flopped in its first two games in the second half.

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Colombia could manage one missed field goal and one assist to cut the difference to 6-3.

Next scoring a field goal, Dion Rawls took the kick and lunged back for 91 yards for a touchdown and a 12-3 lead. The way the Riverside defense was playing, it looked match-finished at that point.

“This is energy,” said Riverside coach O.J. Small. “We didn’t have our squad, so we needed some energy. That comeback was definitely big. He told us before the match he was going to feature one. I told him I was rooting for him. He did it. We needed it. I came at the right time.”

Smith said the Generals’ defense was playing at an elite level, with Riverside scoring six sacks, including the second of De’Avery Weeks, leading to a safety with 10 minutes remaining. At the same time, the generals were able to stop the drives by forcing three rotations.

There was very little the Tigers could do in attacking at that point. A series of offensive gaffes were costly for Columbia, starting with the missed blocks, which put pressure on quarterback Cady Jackson.

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“They stopped us in the running game,” said Tigers coach Demetrick Jackson. “In the first half we did kind of well. We wanted to go out and fix the run and put it in. But we missed some key blocks and that put us in clear passing positions. They put pressure on the quarterback and that hurts us in the end.”

The cost of defeating the regular season remains clear to the Generals, who have to travel to Pensacola for the area semifinals and face top seed Pinewoods (9-1), who beat Tallahassee Rickards 26-7 on Friday.

“We were able to avenge our only loss of the season,” Small said. “I was hoping to be the county champion and go undefeated, but they gave us the loss. But maybe that was okay. We were humbled. We have to realize that we can’t turn the ball around like that.”

“Defence, they played with passion. This is contagious. We got it. I heard the fans get into it. I love it. It takes a village to get where you want to go.”

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Riverside 17, Columbia 3

Riverside, 0, 6, 6, 5 – 17

Colombia 0, 0, 3, 0 – 3

R – Jaheim Singletary 28 pass by Daniel Plummer (banned kick)

C – Rolando Dominguez Jayo 35 FG

Dawn Rawls 91st response from the penalty shoot-out (pass fails)

R-Safety, D. Avery Weeks collide with Cady Jackson in the end zone

R – Omar Garcia 23 FG

Classification: R NS

First defeats: 9 – 9

Rush Yards: 30-118 – 38-49

Passing: 75 – 98

Comp-Att-Int 7-18-2 – 8-20-2

Loss of sensitivity: 3-2 – 2-1

Penalties – Yards: 13-116 – 9-75

individual stats

rushing – R: Alvin Gibson 8-52, Charles Jones-Burrows 8-29, Rawls 4-12, Devin Hering 1-10, Tay Shawn Gilsey 1-7, Cal Zara 2-7, Freddy Manning 1-4, Plummer 5 – (- 3). A: Tony Fulton 9-42, Jaylene Brown 14-13, Marcus Peterson 4-13, Leo Robinson 1-5, Jamary Jones 1-3, Malik Moore 2-3, Bobby Miller 1-(-1), first team ( -2), Cady Jackson 6 – (- 27).

scroll -R: Plummer 5-9-1-52, particle 2-9-1-23. A: Jackson 8-18-2-98, Peterson 0-2-0-0.

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Receive R: Freddy Manning 4-45, Singletary 1-28, Ronald Coleman 1-2, Hering 1-0. A: Jess Husky 3-51, Peterson 3-28, Kevin Young 1-12, Bray deal 1-7.

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