By Molly Seales
Riverdale Rebel fans who came for the 50th Years of Excellence Reunion and Celebration, Court Presentation, and football game were not disappointed as all 3 events were spectacular. The Rebels went into Friday night’s game ranked #1 in Class A in the MAIS coaches poll, while the Briarfield Rebels came to town ranked #3 in Class A and were determined to beat Riverdale in the homecoming game. The Riverdale Rebels refused to let that happen! In a strong defensive game for both teams, Riverdale scored their second touchdown of the game in the last minute, securing the 12-6 homecoming victory.
The score was deadlocked at 0-0 with 5:00 left in the 3rd quarter. Riverdale drew first blood as senior Jake Messenger ran one into the end zone to make it 6-0 Riverdale. The 2-point conversion failed and Briarfield took over. It wasn’t long until Briarfield scored a touchdown of their own and also had a failed 2-point conversion, tying the score 6-6. With around 14 seconds left in the 4th quarter, Riverdale, on 4th down, had the ball on about their own 4-yard line. The Riverdale Rebel offensive line dug deep to make a hole just big enough for sophomore quarterback Ryder Huddleston to punch it in just over the goal line for a touchdown to make the score 12-6 in favor of Riverdale. The 2 point conversion failed, and Briarfield had a few final seconds to attempt to tie or win the game. The Rebel defense held them off as your Riverdale Rebels capped off a great homecoming week by winning the game 12-6 over Briarfield. Fans were loud and proud as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
The Riverdale offense rushed for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns against Briarfield. Jake Messenger had 12 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown. Ryder Huddleston had 8 carries for 13 yards and a touchdown. Senior Monroe McCarty had 8 carries for 21 yards. The Rebels were 9 for 23 in passing for 52 yards and 2 interceptions. Senior Ty “Bones” Jones had 2 receptions for 21 yards, and McCarty had 3 receptions for 28 yards.
The Riverdale defense stood tall against Briarfield. Messenger gave a strong defensive effort with 6 solo tackles, 7 assists (2 TFL), and 1 PBU. Jones also was fierce on defense with 5 solo tackles, 5 assists (4 TFL), 2 PBU, and a sack for a loss of 9 yards. Huddleston had 5 solo tackles, 1 assist, and 1 fumble recovery. McCarty had 2 solo tackles, 2 assists, and 1 PBU. Senior defensive lineman Denver Williams was a beast on the line with 1 solo tackle, 5 assists (2 TFL), 1 fumble recovery, and 1 sack for a loss of 11 yards. Sophomore Hayden Hillman had 1 solo tackle and 1 assist, while sophomore Kyle Guillory had an assist.
At halftime the Riverdale Cheerleaders put on a great show which they had been working on for many weeks. The first group of students welcomed onto the field were the Pre-k—2nd girls who were dancing to music from Mary Poppins. Next were the Pre-k—2nd boys who danced to Danger Zone from Top Gun. The 3rd—5th girls danced to music from Moulin Rouge and the 3rd—5th grade boys danced to Eye of the Tiger. Then the junior high students and the freshman cheerleaders danced to Fake Id. Finally, the cheerleaders danced and stunted to a mix of songs. To end the homecoming halftime show, the cheerleaders called all of the students onto the field and did a line dance, waving to the crowd after it ended.
The Riverdale Rebels will spend this week preparing for their first district game. They will travel to St. Joseph, LA, Friday night to take on the Tensas Chiefs at 7:00 p.m. If you can, make plans to go support your Rebels! Congratulations on a great homecoming win!
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