Two familiar foes faced off Friday night in Murfreesboro when the Warriors of Riverdale welcomed (that term used lightly) the Blackman Blaze to Tomahawk Stadium. Only six miles separate this heated rivalry that started back in 2001. Riverdale, holds the all time head to head edge with 13 wins to Blackman’s 7. As of late though the Blaze have dominated the rivalry, having won the last 5 meetings coming into Fridays game. Before kickoff the house was rocking, cardinal and gold filled the home side while navy and orange submerged the away stands.
The Brawl Begins
The theme of the game would be mistakes, by both teams. On Blackman’s first drive they would turn the ball over, setting the Warriors up in solid scoring position. Instead of being able to capitalize, Riverdale would commit a turnover of their own. The first points of the game would come with only two minutes to play in the first quarter. Blackman junior kicker, Thomas Burks put three on the board for the Blaze. The rest of the first quarter found two offenses struggling to gain traction.
The second quarter was a different story however. Blackman would strike first, this time with a touchdown by junior wide out, Amauri Burks at the nine minute mark off of a jet sweep making the score 10-0. Riverdale would finally wake up on offense as work horse tailback, Savion Davis would punch in two rushing touchdowns in the quarter. Blackman wouldn’t take the Davis explosion lying down though. Junior quarterback, Conner Mitchell would find his tall target, 6’3 wide receiver Trey Knox, in the red zone to take the lead back before the half.
Both D’s Lock In, Offenses Drop Out
All of the offensive excitement was used up in the first half by both teams. The only true scoring opportunity would come when Riverdale moved into field goal range in an attempt to tie the game up in the fourth. The Warriors’ hopes for overtime were riding on the right foot of sophomore kicker, Connor Ott. Unfortunately for the Riverdale faithful the young kicker could not convert, pushing the kick wide right. Blackman would take over possession after the missed kick, draining the clock with QB kneels and picking up the huge district win against a fierce rival.
After the game I got to catch up with winning coach, David Watson.
Q. A tough road win vs a rival, is this the kind of game you can take with you for the rest of season and ride its momentum?
A. There’s no doubt winning gives you some momentum. Winning makes everything easier, especially winning a game like that. That was a tough game, their a good football team, they could have won just as easily as we did, you saw it. We got some breaks that went our way at the end there and we’ll be able to build off this.
Blackman (1-1) plays Shades Valley (AL) next week in the Blazes’ first home game in 2016
Riverdale (1-2) travels to Hillsboro to take on the Burro’s in south Nashville.