- October 26, 2018
The Riverview High's 42-20 win against rival Sarasota High wasn't its offense's crispest game of the season — but Rams coach Josh Smithers anticipated that.
"This is what the Sarasota-Riverview game is about," Smithers said. "Sarasota's got a great squad and they are well-coached. They came out and played. Our kids knew they weren't going to come out and lay down just because we've won a couple games."
The Rams (9-1) had four offensive turnovers and struggled to find a rhythm early in the game, but got a score each from its defense and special teams. Senior captain Jamar Johnson nabbed a pick six off Sailors sophomore quarterback Vincent Parisi, and senior Cleve Grantley blocked a punt that junior Julian Lowenstein returned for a touchdown.
Eventually, the Rams' talent showed overcame the slow start. Junior running back Ali Boyce churned out four touchdowns, including an 85-yard gallop that the workhorse took down the left sideline, causing the crowd to erupt.
Riverview has now won six straight games in the series, dating back to 2012.
The Sailors (5-6) couldn't get sophomore running back Brian Battie going. The Rams held the Sarasota star to 68 yards. Instead of Battie, it was junior wideout/defensive back Charles Ward who did it all for the Sailors. Ward took a kickoff 70 yards to the house on the game's final play, scored on a 49-yard reverse and nearly scored on a Brantley interception, running 50 yards before being tackled at the Rams' 14 yard line.
Once down 35-0, Sarasota didn't quit on the game and got a late scoop and score from Roshon Mae in addition to Ward's efforts. Sarasota coach Brian Ryals wasn't happy with the outcome of either this game or the team's season, but did like the fight his team showed and said he hopes that carries into next year.