Riverside holds off Chapel Hill, 22-14
Posted August 22
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Riverside and Chapel Hill met again on Monday evening to complete a game that was suspended on Friday night.
The two teams picked up the game with Riverside leading 9-0 with 5:38 left in the second quarter. After a wild second half, Riverside pulled off a 22-14 win to open the season with a victory.
It took some time for both teams to find their footing on Monday night. The score stood at 9-0 at halftime, but things picked up in the second half.
On Riverside's first possession of the second half, Cole Infinito connected with Carl Bell, Jr. for a 30-yard touchdown reception. With the extra point, Riverside extended its lead to 16-0 with 10:35 left in the third quarter.
Things looked bad for Chapel Hill. In a later possession, the Tigers fumbled on their own 39-yard line and Riverside recovered.
Luckily for the Tigers, the defense was ready to step up. Javon Wells intercepted a pass from Infinito on the Tigers' 9-yard line and returned it 91 yards for a touchdown. Chapel Hill trailed 16-7 at the end of the third quarter.
Riverside's nine-point lead held for much of the fourth quarter. After the Pirates' defense came up with a stop, Ryan Odom returned a Chapel Hill punt to the Tigers' 10-yard line, giving Riverside a 1st and goal situation with 5:46 left in the game.
The Pirates were not able to capitalize on the good field position though. The quarterback-running back exchange was fumbled and Brandon Hunter-Toney scooped and scored on a 95-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Riverside's lead was down to 16-14 with 5:20 left in the fourth quarter.
Riverside quickly answered as Infinito and Bell connected for another touchdown. This touchdown was good for 57 yards, but the extra point failed, meaning the Pirates were still only up by one score, 22-14.
Chapel Hill got the ball back with just over four minutes left. Facing a fourth down, and needing 10 yards for a first down, Alec Stough completed a pass to Bradley Kenyon for a 14-yard gain and a first down to keep the Tigers' hopes alive. But on the next set of downs, Stough was sacked on third down, putting the Tigers in a 4th & 20 situation.
It proved to be too much for the Tigers to overcome. Riverside's defense held and the offense returned to the field to run out the clock on the first win of the season.
Riverside returns to play on Friday night with a home non-conference game against Northern Vance at 7 p.m. It will be the home-opener for the Pirates. Chapel Hill will also play on Friday night, taking the road to Apex Friendship at 7 p.m.