SISSONVILLE -- After a slow start that saw Sissonville score only seven points in the first half, the Indians were able to use a strong second half to earn a 33-15 victory over Riverside Tuesday night at Joe Sawyers Field.
With the victory, the Class AA Indians (2-0) remain undefeated and pick up an important win over a Class AAA program. Riverside fell to 0-2.
“It’s definitely a big win for us,” Sissonville coach Marc Wilson said. “I thought he had a good football team and had a chance. Our kids have took it to heart and came out here and played their butts off. I am proud of them.”
After a defensive struggle in the first half that only saw one touchdown and seven points between the two teams, Sissonville led 7-0 at halftime. The scoring picked up dramatically in the third quarter.
Sissonville and Riverside combined for three touchdowns and 20 points in a 40-second span, including TDs offensively, defensively and on special teams.
With Sissonville leading 7-0, the Indians increased their advantage to 13 on a 6-yard TD run by Dylan Griffith with 9:27 remaining in the third quarter. On the first play of the next possession, Riverside quarterback Braxton Jones fumbled and Sissonville’s Braeden Murray picked it up and returned it for a 16-yard touchdown. The Indians took a 20-0 lead just 19 seconds after their previous score.
Then, just 21 seconds later on the ensuing kickoff, the Warriors finally scored on a Mack Lusk 80-yard kickoff return to cut the Sissonville lead to 20-7 with 8:47 left in the third quarter.
Sissonville was able to put the game away early in the fourth quarter with a pair of touchdowns. Cameron Arbogast scored on an 8-yard run and quarterback Jackson Foster connected with Murray on a 41-yard pass to up the lead to 33-7.
“They came out with a front we necessarily weren’t prepared for,” Wilson said. “It was a little different and we had to get some blocking adjustments. We did that and were able to punch one in right before the end of the half. We were able to go into the locker room, time it up, and get it going.”
Riverside got its first offensive touchdown of the game late in the fourth quarter. Jake Walker scored on a 1-yard run and added the 2-point conversion run to conclude the scoring at 33-15 with 2:48 remaining.
“We just need to move the ball better,” Riverside coach Alex Daugherty said.
Sissonville got great balance offensively with Griffith rushing for 129 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns. Foster was 9 for 14 passing for 161 yards and a touchdown.
It was tough sledding for Riverside offensively. The Warriors lost standout running back Andrew Baria to a back injury on the first offensive play of the game, and the sophomore was taken off the field on a stretcher. Daugherty said after the game he thought Baria took a helmet to the lower back. He did not have an update on Baria’s condition after the game.
Jacob Wisen led Riverside with 44 yards on 12 carries. Walker finished with 39 yards on three attempts for the Warriors, and Jones threw for 62 yards.