The Riverview Eagles football team was soaring entering its game against Clear Creek last Tuesday.
Head coach Mark Thomason’s troops were winners of six straight ball games and seemed unstoppable.
That winning streak came to a screeching halt on Tuesday.
The Eagles lost 18-13, for the team’s only blemish on its record this season.
Tomorrow, the Eagles will have a rematch with Clear Creek for the Mountain League Championship.
The game will be at Clear Creek and kick off is scheduled for 5 p.m.
“They were disappointed, but I told them that our preseason goal of winning the championship is still within reach. Nobody else can say they led at some point in every game they played,” remarked Thomason.
Things got off to a dreadful start for the Eagles. Clear Creek took the opening kick-off and returned it 76-yards for a touchdown. Clear Creek went for a 2-point conversion, but it was no good.
Riverview’s luck ran out again after returning the ensuing kick-off. Eagle quarterback Tyler Dominy slipped as he was throwing and Clear Creek picked off the pass.
On the play Riverview was assessed a 15-yard penalty for a personal foul, ehich put the ball inside the 30-yard line.
Four plays later Clear Creek scored. Once again the 2-point conversion was no good.
Clear Creek held a 12-0 lead.
The Eagles finally got something going offensively on their next possession.
Riverview capped off a 65-yard drive when running back Bruce Clark rambled down to the 1-yard line. Dominy then punched it in on a quarterback sneak to get the Eagles on the scoreboard. Cody Smith converted the extra point to get Riverview closer at 12-7.
The score remained at 12-7 as the buzzer sounded for halftime.
Riverview received the second half kick-off, but couldn’t get anything going. The Eagles ended up punting the ball back to Clear Creek.
On the second play from scrimmage for Clear Creek, their quarterback dropped back to pass. Dominy stepped in front of the errant pass and intercepted the ball.
He returned it 60-yards down the field, to the 1-yard line, before being knocked out of bounds.
Thomason called Dominy’s number on the next play.
Dominy ran a quarterback sneak into a score and put Riverview on top, 13-12.
The Eagles decided to go for a 2-point conversion, but were stopped short by the Clear Creek defense.
“I’m proud of the guys. They got down two scores and battled back,” Thomason said.
An exciting fourth quarter was in store for the fans.
Clear Creek went on a 65-yard drive in the final period. The team crossed the goal line scoring a touchdown to put them back in front.
Once again the Eagle defense stiffened and did not allow the two-point conversion attempt. Clear Creek was back in front 18-13 with just over three minutes to play.
Riverview had one last chance when the team took over the ball at its own 40-yard line.
The Eagles took the ball down to the Clear Creek 15-yard line. Out of time outs and with a fourth and 8, Dominy dropped back to pass. Dominy’s pass was perfect, splitting three defenders while en route.
The ball glanced off of a receiver’s fingertips and fell to the turf. Game over.
“The game was a game of two great defenses,” commented Thomason. “The difference in the game was special teams and our inability to catch a pass. We also have to cut down on our turnovers. We turned it over four times on three interceptions and a muffed punt that they recovered.”
Thomason pointed several things his team will have to do in the championship game to be successful.
“For us to win next time, we have to do three things: eliminate turnovers, play better on special teams and block better. Our offensive lines and backs need to open up holes like we did on the second drive of the game,” he said.
“I thought Justin Sams, Evan Kells and Zach Martin played well for us,” said Thomason.
E-mail Pam Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org.