Pilots win second straight

NEW MARTINSVILLE – When your defense allows just 33 rushing yards on 30 attempts- you can’t be too disappointed if you’re River head coach Mike Flannery.

Allowing just 140 yards total, the River defensive squad limited the Shenandoah Zeps to just 2.6 yard per play.

River proceeded to blank the visitors late into the fourth period after the game was long decided in a dominating showing.

The Pilots improved their record to 5-3 and the Zeps remained absent in the win column by virtue of a 40-6 final at Alumni Field.

“I’m very pleased with the way we played tonight” said Flannery of his team’s solid performance, which helped the Pilots in Region 23 with some crucial points. The offense put up 484 total yards, 287 coming through the air.

“We wanted to work on some things offensively that we have been saving.” he continued.

Nick Asturi led the way for River, as the downhill running back accounted for 161 yards on the ground on just 14 attempts, good for 11.5 yards per tote and adding a TD. He also snagged an interception along the way.

Fellow back Jordan Sapp added another 83 yards on 13 carries. “Nick and Jordan have to have touches, as well as Kam Brown who is very valuable to this team.” Flannery spoke of his dual-threat backfield.

Brown who hauled in two scores through the air from 45 and 33 yards, accumulated 93 yards on four catches, as well as picking off a pass in the first half.

River began its night with quarterback Cody Caldwell marching his team to the one-yard line on their initial drive before running it in on his own four minutes in. Colton Wright converted the PAT for a 7-0 lead.

Winding down at the end of the first quarter, Caldwell aired out his first scoring toss of the night to Brown. The kick was no good leaving it 13-0.

The tandem hooked up again with 7:52 left in the second quarter, on a 33-yard pitch and toss. The final drive of the half, Sapp ran it in from one-yard out after three consecutive rushes, the second of the three for 34 yards.

Coming out of the half, both quarterbacks gave up interceptions within the first 90 seconds, in a game which featured six altogether.

After the Zeps gave the ball back, Caldwell hooked up with Brown for his second score at the 10:08 mark.

Five minutes later, Asturi stumbled in from 14 yards out to cap off a stellar outing.

Shenandoah did make its mark late in the fourth quarter on a 15-yard Danny Neuhart pass to Blake Rossiter. Rossiter led the Zeps on the ground for 62 yards on a mere two carries.

Overall, there were 31 first downs between the teams, with River accounting for all but three on the night.

“We have a goal set ahead of us and a plan on how we want to get there.” added Flannery. “I feel like we have a lot of weapons, and we can score a lot of different ways.”

River heads into the next to last week of the regular season against Buckeye Trail while the Zeps take on Fort Frye.