Spartans defeat Braves in openerSep 1, 2017 By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer
The Riverton Middle School scored a 14-0 shutout over visiting Worland on Thursday night at Wolverine field behind an opportunistic offense and a solid defense.
The season-opening win featured hard hitting by the Spartans that led to a pair of Worland turnovers in the opening period.
Riverton picked up a first down on its initial possession, but stalled and Tanner Johnson drove a line-drive punt deep, catching a fortuitous bounce, before pinning the visiting Braves at their own 8-yard line via a 56-yard punt.
Worland ran two ineffective running plays before a swarming Riverton defense knocked the ball loose and Daxton Fisher recovered it at the 17-yard line.
Two plays later, Blake Dale rolled right and hit a wide-open Johnson for a 15-yard score.
On the ensuing swinging-gate play, the Braves were out of possession for the trick two-point conversion, but an underhand, bullet lateral from Lucas Engle bounced off a lineman's helmet and the score remained 6-0.
It was déjà vu all over again on the next series, with Riverton's defense forcing a Worland fumble on a Derrick Lane hit that Paxton Rees recovered at the 12-yard line
With 24 seconds remaining in the first period, the Spartans scored again on a five-yard pass from Dale to Elijah Hernandez.
Dale hit Johnson on the two-point conversion and Riverton led 14-0.
It was the final points of the game for both teams.
"I was very impressed with our defense," said Riverton head coach Brian Shultz. "We tackled well, didn't let them get outside and forced numerous turnovers.Our offense showed signs of what it can be, but we're not there yet."
Worland's Jory Anderson ran the ball and punted exceedingly well, but the Braves never threatened and Riverton had the defensive answer throughout the second half.
Riverton 14 0 0 0 - 14
Worland 0 0 0 0 - 0
RIV - Tanner Johnson 15-pass from Blake Dale (pass failed) 2:45
RIV - Elijah Hernandez 5-pass from Dale (Johnson pass from Dale):24