Special Teams Key In Riverview’s 7-6 Victory

TAMPA – A low-scoring, defensive battle was the story between Class 8A-District 6 opponents Alonso and Riverview on Friday night, as the Sharks pulled out a 7-6 victory to win their first district matchup – spoiling the Ravens’ senior night. Some costly mistakes led to points not going on the board for Alonso, which ultimately would be the difference.

ATH Tamel McCall (3) had a big night with two interceptions and a blocked field goal on Friday.
ATH Tamel McCall (3) had a big night with two interceptions and a blocked field goal on Friday.

It was a scoreless first quarter as both teams started to battle through their rush games. Jonathan Lorenzo plugged away at the Sharks defense, but they held strong. CB Tamel McCall blocked a 29-yard field goal attempt by Brenden Johnson late in the first quarter to keep it level. The blocked field goal was part of a huge night for McCall, who also added two interceptions on the evening.

The Ravens would strike first in the second quarter when QB Shaye Scott floated a ball to TE Hunter Ackerman from ten yards out. However, a host of Riverview defenders blocked the extra point, which would end up being the difference of the game. “We had been preaching to them for six weeks about doing the right things on special teams, and finally something clicked, and Tamel did what he was supposed to do and it worked out,” said Riverview Head Coach Mike Thornton.

The Sharks fired right back with a passing touchdown themselves, as QB Elijah Green split the defense passing to RB Dominic Gonnella for a 36-yard score. This time, the Sharks made the extra point, and the game came with it. 7-6 Riverview would be the score at halftime, which would end up being the final.

CB D.J. King intercepted a pass from Green in the third quarter, his third on the year, but the Ravens couldn’t take advantage of the short field. McCall’s two interceptions off Scott both came in the fourth quarter, the second which sealed the game shut. “I’ve really got to give the credit to my D-Line, they got the quarterback out of the pocket and frantic, which gave me the ability to make the play,” McCall said.

The Ravens drop to 0-7 on the season and will travel to Steinbrenner next week in another 8A-6 matchup. Riverview will face Manatee at home and improve to 3-4 on the season.