MDJ Sports Correspondent
MARIETTA — Grant Drakeford ran for two touchdowns, and Riverwood beat Osborne 34-14 on senior night at Cardinal Field.
Riverwood (5-3, 2-1 in Region 7AAAAA (B) took control of this game early and never looked back. A pair of Cardinals fumbles in their first three drives led to a 14 point deficit.
Osborne (2-6, 0-3) fumbled on its own 28 on the opening drive, which set up Riverwood’s Khai Anderson for a 24-yard touchdown run. Two drives later, Osborne fumbled deep it its own territory setting up a 3-yard touchdown run by Jah’waun Walker to make it 14-0.
“We made so many mistakes in the first half.” Cardinals coach Xarvia Smith said. “To get down like that, it is hard to overcome.”
A 52-yard run by Walker on the Raiders next possession set up another Anderson touchdown, this one from 2 yards out to make it 21-0 Riverwood.
Osborne got on the board right before the half when quarterback Craig Robinson found Jaqunton Alston in the end zone to cut the lead to 21-7.
Robinson finished with 268 total yards and two touchdowns.
“Our biggest obstacle is protecting the ball (right now),” Smith said about the Cardinals’ five turnovers. “We’ve had too many turnovers and we need to score when given the opportunity.”
Riverwood started fast in the second half, driving the ball 70 yards for a touchdown.
The Cardinals responded quickly when Brian Ammons took a pass 77 yards to the Riverwood 3-yard line before Robinson ran it in, making the score 28-14.
After holding the Raiders to three straight three-and-outs, the Cardinals had an opportunity to make it a ball game. However, a sack/fumble on fourth down sealed the fate for Osborne.
Riverwood hasn’t made the playoffs since 2001, but a victory next week will put the Raiders in the driver’s seat for a possible No. 2 seed for its play-in game.
“Next week just became the biggest game of my career and these kids playing careers,” Riverwood coach Robert Ingram said. “We’re not counting our eggs yet but we’ve always thought we’ve had a good team, we just have to put it together.”
Drakeford accounted for 160 total yards of offense, doing the most damage on the ground where the senior found the end zone twice on runs of two and three yards.