The Rams blew a 21-0 but eked out a 31-28 win thanks to a 48-yard field goal from senior kicker Stone Springman.
What looked like a laugher in the first quarter turned into a dogfight by halftime.
The Riverview High football team (1-3) does not care. The Rams will take wins however they come.
After going up 21-0 on Lehigh High (1-3) in the first quarter thanks to a Lauriel Trotman 10-yard run, a Deshaun Olave pick six and a 34 yard throw from Jackson Dawson to Luke Petitta, the Rams started making mistakes, leaving Lehigh receivers open in the secondary and turning the ball over on offense. By the time halftime hit, the game was tied at 21, and the second half promised more unpredictability.
The Rams would trail 28-21 heading into the fourth quarter, but a goal line run from Dawson tied the game at 28 and a 48-yard field goal by senior kicker Stone Springman gave the Rams a 31-28 lead. This time, the lead proved to be for good.
Rams Head Coach Josh Smithers rested his hands on his knees after talking to him team postgame, letting some of his stress go.
"That was rough," Smithers said. "But this was a huge win. We lost to two good teams the first two weeks and then had a heartbreaker last week (a double overtime loss to Palmetto). This win is a testament to our seniors. We came back to work this week and did not waiver. They all had each other's backs. We got this win and that's what we needed."
Smithers' stress came from the ways the Rams almost beat themselves. Up 21-7 in the second quarter, the Rams drove to the Lightning one yard line before Dawson failed to handle a shotgun snap. Lightning Tyre Cunningham picked up the fumble and rumbled 99 yards for a score. Dawson would later be intercepted by linebacker Robert Raybon off a deflection, which Lehigh would convert into a game-tying touchdown run from Alabama commit Richard Young.
But the Rams made big plays of their own when it mattered. Up 31-28, Rams junior defensive back Charles Lester III showed off his catch-up speed on an over-the-shoulder interception of a Lehigh deep pass attempt that left the Riverview crowd in awe and allowed Riverview to run multiple minutes off the clock. Jaydon Tarohocker and Travis Smith Jr. would also add interceptions in the fourth quarter.
Springman's long kick was his first field goal attempt of the season after missing time with a vertebrae injury. The senior kicker is rated a 4.5 star kicker by Kornblue Kicking and ranked as one of the top kickers in the Class of 2023.
"Stone had that look in his eyes," Smithers said. "He was excited to be back. I don't think there was anything that was going to stop him tonight."
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