River falls to Rosecrans in key Region 23 encounter
ZANESVILLE – It was a one-man show at John D. Sulsberger Stadium Friday night as visiting River faced off against the homestanding Zanesville Bishop Rosecrans.
Rosecrans took a decisive, 31-7, win with a stellar performance from senior running back Luke Llloyd who accumulated 101 yards on 25 totes and four TDs.
Late in the first quarter, after swapping possessions multiple times, Rosecrans marched up to the River 28-yard line when Johnny MacLean chipped in the field goal for the first points of the night with less than a minute to go in the first quarter.
River answered back in the second, with Kameron Brown jumping an Adrick Cronin pass while the Pilots capped off the drive by Nick Asturi busting in from a yard out.
Colton Wright, who last week converted a game-winning boot as time expired, split the uprights for the 7-3 lead at the 5:09 mark.
Nearing the midway point, Lloyd recovered a fumble deep in River territory and needed a mere three plays before he punched it in from a stripe out. The kick was good leaving a 10-7 margin at half.
“That fumble gave us a chance to take the lead into the locker room,” Bishop Rosecrans head coach Scott Moyer said. “The defense played well all night, and the offense rose to the challenge in the second half.”
Opening the second half both teams swapped punts before Lloyd exploded with another run – this time from 22 yards out. MacLean’s kick stretched the lead to 17-7.
After forcing yet another River punt, Rosecrans offense executed five plays to reach the Pilots’ two, and needed just one more for Lloyd to waltz in for third of the night.
But, the downhill running back, who fell just a yard short of his 10.1 yards per carry mark.
Another solid outing by Rosecrans’ Cameron Roberts anchored a complete defensive performance, which took a backseat to the run-oriented scoring style on this night. Roberts sealed up the game on his second pick of the night in the end zone early in the fourth quarter.
The final drive for the Bishops consisted of an 8-play, 80-yard scoring effort which, for the fourth time on this night, was polished off by a Lloyd scamper to paydirt from 18 yards out.
Recording the other half of the Rosecran rushing attack was Chase Lanning who also reached triple digits with 100 yards on 11 touches to complete the duel-threat backfield performance.
Leading River on the ground was Asturi, who was limited to 48 yards on 16 opportunities. Quarterback Cody Caldwell racked up 129 yards through the sky on a 8 for 17 aerial effort adding a pair of throwing miscues.