Wolverines roughed up by Green RiverSep 10, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
Facing an option running game is a difficult proposition if you're a football coach trying to defend it.
Add in a quarterback who is just as deadly with his arm as his legs, and you're in real trouble.
Riverton head coach Pat Patterson and his defense faced exactly that in their road game against Green River on Friday.
Wolves signal-caller Chance Hofer picked apart the Big Red defense time and again, churning out chunks of yardage on the ground and in the air during a 56-21 victory over the Wolverines. RHSR00;fell to 0-2 on the new season.
The home side wasted no time in opening the offensive floodgates with a game-opening 13-play drive which culminated in a six-yard scoring strike from Hofer to wideout Cole White for a 7-0 lead with 6:13 left in the opening quarter.
Riverton's most dangerous weapon on the night was return man Brodie Roden, who returned the ensuing kickoff 60 yards, giving quarterback Treyton Paxton and the Wolverines' offense excellent field position as they set up shot for their opening drive of the game.
However, Riverton failed to take advantage of Roden's rumble, turning the ball over on downs in Wolves territory after three Paxton passes missed their respective targets.
So Hofer and his green-clad arsenal took over again and proceeded to march down the gridiron in machine-like fashion during a 10-play drive, which was a combination of powerful running by Candon Croft and Hofer completions to three different receivers before running the ball in himself from 11 yards out. It was 14-0, with Hofer already 11-of-15 through the air.
Riverton began its next possession of the first quarter with a false start penalty, followed by runs of four and three yards by Paxton and Nic Fenton, respectively, before being forced to punt once again.
At this point in the proceedings, the Wolverines had run only eight offensive plays and committed four penalties for 45 yards.
On Green River's next drive, which spanned the first and second stanzas, back-to-back 15-yard penalties on the Riverton defense on the same play helped the Wolves' cause, as a roughing-the-passer call was followed up immediately with an unsportsmanlike conduct infraction, resulting in a 30-yard advance for Green River.
After another Hofer scoring pass to Gavin Heiser was nullified by a flag, the Riverton defense held and took the ball over on downs.
But, again the Wolverines offense failed to capitalize on the momentum the defense had provided them.
But, not before Paxton successfully executed a fake punt for a first down, apply on which he got hammered and was briefly forced from the game and replaced under center by Dillon Lange before Paxton retook the field.
However, on his first play back, he threw an interception, which allowed Hofer and the Wolves' offense an opportunity to continue their feast on the Wolverines' defense.
A 14-play scoring drive resulted, with Devin Love hauling in a one-yard pass from Hofer, for a 21-0 advantage with 3:43 left in the second quarter.
Riverton got the ball back and quickly moved the ball down the field thanks to a 50-yard catch-and-run by Roden, which took the Wolverines all the way down to the Green River 15-yard line.
Dawson Lane ran for a yard, followed by a failed pass attempt from Paxton to Roden, before the Wolverines' quarterback ran for 13 yards down to the 1-yard line for a first-and-goal.
On the next play, Paxton took it in for Riverton's first points of the game and it was 21-7 with 1:54 left in the opening half of play.
But, the Wolves answered right back with less than two minutes left, as Hofer directed another scoring drive, this one seven plays with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Heiser and a 28-7 lead as the half ended.
More of the same
The Wolverines got the ball to begin the third quarter, but didn't have it for long, as Paxton threw another interception on the third play of the drive, which was returned 65 yards by the Wolves' Heiser all the way inside the Riverton 10-yard line.
Croft crashed in on the next play from two yards out for a 35-7 lead.
Green River added another pair of scores in the third quarter, along with the Wolves' final points in the fourth for the final margin of victory.
Riverton managed to pull a pair of touchdowns of its own back when Colton Patterson caught a nine-yard pass from Paxton in the third quarter and Lange ran one in from 10 yards out in the fourth.
According to Patterson, it wasn't the prettiest of games, by any means.
"It was a sloppy game on both sides," said Patterson. "I don't think we played all that bad, they were just better at every position on the field."
Patterson singled out Roden for his return heroics, which were good for over 200 yards on the game, but even that was a bit muted.
"Brodie was really our only bright spot," he said. "But, that also means they're scoring a lot if we keep running back kickoffs."
For the Big Red boss, it's pretty simple what he and his team must do moving forward, he said.
"We just have to get better," said Patterson.
"Offensively, we have to be able to run the ball to set up our passing game. Defensively, we can't afford to keep missing tackles."
However, he also acknowledged where his squad is at this point in the current campaign.
"We're not playing as good as we should be and it doesn't get any easier," said Patterson. "But, we have a lot of season left."
Riverton (0-2) will next host Class 2-A Glenrock on Friday.
Riverton 0 7 7 7 -- 14
Green River 14 14 21 7 -- 56
GRV - White 6-yard pass from Hofer (Gwaltney kick), 6:13.
GRV - Hofer 11-yard run (Gwaltney kick), 1:33.
GRV - Love 1-yard pass from Hofer (Gwaltney kick), 3:43.
RIV - Paxton 1-yard run (Gartenschlaeger kick), 1:54.
GRV - Heiser 10-yard pass from Hofer (Gwaltney kick), 0:11.
GRV - Croft 2-yard run (Gwaltney kick).
GRV - Love 16-yard pass from Hofer (Gwaltney kick), 8:02.
GRV - King 2-yard run (Gwaltney kick), 3:53.
RIV - Patterson 9-yard pass from Paxton (Gartenschlaeger kick), 1:33.
GRV - Ivie 69-yard run (Gwaltney kick), 4:12.
RIV - Lange 10-yard run (Gartenschlaeger kick), 2:42.
Riverton- Paxton 7-36, Fenton 8-17, Roden 1-2.
Green River - Ivie 12-168, Croft 9-92, King 7-35.
Riverton - Paxton 10-27-2-180.
Green River - Hofer 23-33-0-273.
Riverton - Roden 1-50, Draper 2-48, Gartenschlaeger 4-37.
Green River - Love 10-95, Heiser 4-42, White 7-35.
Riverton - Draper 15, Roden 14, Adams 13, Clayson 8, Alley 8, Campbell 5, Riley 5, Miller 5, Lane 4, Garcia 4, Allen 3, Fenton 3, Patterson 3, Sullivan 3, Healy 2, Nyberg 2, Werbelow 2, Healy 2, Werbelow 2, Lange 1, Muehler 1, Rees 1, Ibach 1, Poll 1.
Green River - Mitchell 13, Anderson 9, Serrano 9, Johnson 7, Croft 6, Heiser 6, Love 4, Wingard 3, White 3, Tucker 3, King 3, Harvey 2, Jensen 2, McCarter 1.