By Riley Hicks
The Wildcats (5-3, 3-1) were put to the test Friday night against a struggling Riverdale Raiders (1-7, 0-4) team that took an early lead in the game. Whitewater eventually controlled the game in the fourth quarter and won by a score of 22-6. It is a must needed win for the Wildcats, who look to stay in the region hunt and for a shot in the playoffs.
“We played a lot better in the second half,” Whitewater head coach Bryan Holley said. “We struggled early to get the things going offensively, but made some adjustments at halftime with what they were giving us defensively and we were able to pull out a win.”
Riverdale found the end zone in the first quarter, after quarterback Avaun Rucker completed a 14-yard pass to Derwin Burgess Jr., the missed extra point gave the Raiders a lead of 6-0.
Whitewater’s offense finally came alive in the second quarter, scoring on a 14-yard run from quarterback Maddox Mueller, and the extra point to follow gave the Wildcats a 7-6 lead going into the half.
The Wildcats’ defense, after allowing the early touchdown, stood strong not allowing the Raiders to find the end zone the rest of the night. The leading tacklers for Whitewater were Seth Minter and Dalton Goodman, and the momentum changer came off an interception from Jamal Jenkins. Riverdale’s defense played stout for three quarters, but broke apart in the fourth quarter by giving up two touchdowns.
In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats capitalized on a pair of 3-yard runs to take the lead and the victory. The rushing touchdowns were scored from Miles Montgomery and Kyris Barnett. Whitewater racked up 229 yards of offense with 208 yards coming on the ground with 43 carries.
This week the Wildcats travel to the Fayette County Tigers (3-5, 2-2), who are coming off a loss to the Morrow Mustangs. The playoff race is still wide open for anyone to make a position for themselves.