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River flows past Marietta, 52-22

RIVER’S FINN Bowers carries the ball Thursday night against Marietta at Don Drumm Stadium at Marietta College. The Pilots navigated to a 52-22 victory.

MARIETTA – Kabel Isaly threw for 245 yards and two touchdowns to help visiting River take down Marietta, 52-22, in season-opening football action Thursday at Don Drumm Stadium.

Isaly completed 17 of 22 passes, including touchdown strikes of 63 yards to Lucas Dennis and 34 yards to River Thompson. He did not throw an interception as River won the turnover battle 3-0.

“You’ve got to take advantage,” said River head coach Mike Flannery. “We talked all preseason on turnovers. They win games and lose games. I’m really happy with the turnover department.”

Marietta head coach Jasob Schob wasn’t surprised at how impressive River’s offense was.

“We knew they were going to be good,” Schob said. “We thought we would have to play a really good, clean football game to beat them. We had glimpses of it, just not consistent enough yet. We’ll work on that.”

The Pilots also ran the ball 29 times for 203 yards, led by Kaden Johnson’s 68 yards on nine carries, including a 9-yard touchdown run at the 6:06 mark in the first quarter to open the scoring.

Marietta answered with a touchdown on its ensuing possession via a 1-yard TD run by Jakel Shelton, who led all rushers with 134 yards on 19 carries. That cut the deficit to 8-6, but the Pilots answered with back-to-back touchdowns on Dennis’ catch and run and Finn Bowers’ 2-yard TD plunge to extend their lead to 24-6.

Marietta’s freshman QB Kinzyn Lutchmansingh threw his first varsity touchdown on a 47-yard strike to Bryce Dotson to cut it to 24-14 with 2:34 left in the half. The Tigers nearly kept it at a 10-point game going into halftime, but on 4th-and-10 at Marietta’s 34-yard-line, Isaly found Thompson in the end zone to make it 30-14 at the break. Marietta had good coverage on the play, but the 6-foot-4 Thompson, who finished with 100 yards on seven receptions, used his size to go up and get the ball.

River didn’t let up coming out of halftime, adding another touchdown on Isaly’s 1-yard QB sneak to make it 38-14. Then, cornerback Colton Cisar intercepted a Lutchmansingh pass and returned it 50 yards to the house to make it 44-14 with 4:01 left in the third. The Tigers also lost two fumbles.

In the fourth, Seth Britton caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Lutchmansingh, but River responded with a 51-yard TD jaunt by Bowers to add the exclamation point.

The Pilots outgained the Tigers 448-231. Ty Long caught eight passes for 77 yards while Dennis added 68 yards on two catches. Bowers rushed six times for 58 yards.

“The execution we had on offense, I’m real pleased with,” Flannery said. “We showed a lot of character.”

Lutchmansingh completed 3 of 9 passes for 58 yards for Marietta. Britton carried 10 times for 33 yards.

River heads to Trimble next Friday for a big Division VII showdown.

“That’s a test,” Flannery said. “We know what’s coming with Trimble. We’re going to have to have a good week of practice.”

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