DURHAM — South View's interception in the end zone stopped Riverside's furious fourth quarter rally and allowed the Tigers to take a 20-17 win Friday night in the first round of 4AA NCHSAA playoffs.
Riverside trailed 20-3 in the fourth quarter after South View's Jeremy Cox scored his second touchdown of the game with 8:24 left to play.
Riverside answered quickly on its ensuing possession. Joel Evans finally broke loose and scampered 61 yards for the score. The touch down closed the gap to 20-10 with 7:28 remaining.
On South View's next possession, a bad snap squirted away from the quarterback and Riverside's Patrick Volk recovered at the Tigers' 24-yard line.
Four plays later, Evans ran it in from 14-yards out for the touchdown. Riverside trailed 20-17 with 5:37 left.
On the ensuing possession, South View (9-3) moved the ball to the Pirate 33-yard line but was stopped on a fourth down attempt giving the ball back to Riverside at its 35.
The Pirates quickly advanced it in three plays to the Tigers' 34-yard line, aided by a 33-yard pass by Dionte Strothers to Deon Yarborough. But Strothers’ next pass was intercepted in the end zone by David McNair with 1:37 left in the game.
Riverside had one more opportunity to stop the Tigers but Cox's 25-yard run on 3rd-and-10 sealed the win.
"Their defense was stifling us most of the game," Riverside head coach David Hackney said of South View. "Their physicality kind of got to us," Hackney added.
South View bottled-up Riverside’s Evans for most of the game until his touchdown run.
Evans, who averaged over 200 yards rushing a game, was held to under 20 yards at halftime.
“Our defense has played great all year,” South View head coach Randy Ledford said. “Offensively at times we looked really good then we started making mistakes, penalties,” Ledford added.
Riverside (8-4) forced five turnovers – three interceptions and two fumbles, but could not capitalize on the South View miscues.
“We had opportunities early where [South View] turned the ball over but we didn’t take advantage of it. I think that was the name of the game tonight,” Hackney said.
South View jumped ahead early in the first quarter. Cox scored with a 4-yard touchdown run. Then on its next possession, the Tigers’ C.D. Duperval scored on an 18-yard rushing touchdown. The extra point kick was missed, but the Tigers led 13-0 in the first quarter.
After a scoreless second quarter, Riverside got on the board with a 21-yard field goal by Micah Goodwin. Riverside had to settle for the field goal after failing to score a touchdown on a first-and-goal opportunity from the 10-yard line. Riverside trailed 13-3 midway through the third quarter.
Hackney was disappointed with the loss but felt it was a positive year for the Pirates.
“We got things turned around here and moving in the right direction. I’m expecting big things from Riverside football,” Hackney said.