The Rams beat the Longhorns 35-0 on Friday, earning the right to face Osceola in the regional semifinal
Riverview defeated Lennard 35-0 in Friday’s Class 8A regional quarterfinal at Riverview High School in Sarasota.
The Rams will face Osceola in the regional semifinal Nov. 27 at Osceola High School.
The defense put up a dominant performance, pitching a shutout and forcing three turnovers. This after giving up 26 point to Lennard in a 49-26 Rams win Oct. 2.
“We’re starting to play better right now,” Riverview head coach Josh Smithers said. “Earlier in the year, we were having a few breakdowns here and there. We’d have penalties, things like that to extend drives.”
On offense, senior quarterback Will Evans led the way, accounting for three touchdowns, including two on the ground.
Evans opened the scoring seven minutes into the game on a quarterback keeper of about 20 yards to give the Rams a 6-0 lead. Lennard looked to be putting a decent drive together before junior James Simmons reeled in an interception thrown by sophomore Carter Payne at the Riverview 13-yard line.
After some strong defense from both teams kept the game at a one-score deficit, the tide turned when a Riverview punt bounced off a Longhorns player, which became a turnover when the Rams recovered. A couple minutes later, Evans busted free for his second rushing score of the day, this time from 10 yards out to give Riverview a 13-0 lead after the PAT.
The Rams tacked on another touchdown as time expired to take a 20-0 lead into the half. This time, Evans got the job done with his arm, finding senior Tyrone Presha for a 15-yard score on fourth down.
Riverview picked up where it left off in the third quarter. Seven and a half minutes in, junior Jay’den Birch lowered his shoulder and plowed his way over a defender and into the end zone for a 1-yard score, giving the Rams a 27-0 lead.
On their next drive, a deep pass from Evans to junior Omari Hayes moved the Rams to the 9-yard line. Michael “Poohdah” Hayes Jr. then punched in a touchdown from 7 yards out with 1:50 to play in the third quarter. Leading 33-0, Riverview elected to go for two in an attempt to reach the continuously running game clock mercy rule. The conversion was successful, as Evans found junior Duke Timmons on a fade route to reach the final score of 35-0 Rams.