Willoughby, OH- Senior night at Willoughby South, was an unseasonably warm 65 degrees, as the Willoughby South Rebels (4-5) took on the 8-1 Riverside Beavers. South was looking for a statement win to close out their season, while Riverside was looking to finish with one loss with an eye on the playoffs.
South is led by RB/DB Tyrone Singleton, while Riverside is led by QB Mikey Maloney who has 22 TD passes on the season, and a stout defensive line, led by OL/DL AJ Adams.
Riverside won the opening toss and deferred to the second half, began with the ball. They avoided disaster on the 1st play, as QB Colin Quinlan was sacked on the very first play, but Willoughby recovers, and after converting a 4th and 5, RB Tyrone Singleton scampered for a 51 yard touchdown after a nice spin move to make the score 7-0
Riverside responded with a drive of their own led by Maloney, with a key 3rd and 18 conversion pass to WR Jake Elly, who caught multiple passes on the drive. The 80 yard drive was capped off by a 7 yard QB run by Maloney, making the score 7-7.
The ensuing drive was marred by penalties, and resulted in a quick 3 and out by South, and a botched snap/catch by punter Tommy Funk, led to a loose ball recovered in the end zone by Funk, who was tackled by Riverside, leading to a safety, making the score 9-7 Riverside.
After a safety kick that was almost recovered by South, Riverside began their next drive with a short field, but gave it right back to Willoughby on a fumble by Maloney, giving South the ball at their own 38 yard line. Singleton responded on the first play with a 62 yard touchdown run. Willoughby failed on the 2 point conversion attempt, making the score 13-9 South with 1:41 left in the first quarter, The ensuing kickoff incurred a penalty, as the ball was kicked out out of bounds, giving Riverside the ball at the 35 yard line, The score at the end of the first quarter, 13-9.
After the quarter break RIverside drove 65 yards down the field capped off by a one yard run by WR/DB Brady McKight. The extra point was good, making the score 16-13, Riverside.
The next possession saw Willoughby drive down the field led by the rushing attack of Singleton and Quinlan, but penalties and a pass just out of reach of WR Delond Moss, ended the drive.
After a beautiful punt by Willoughby that went out of bounds at the 7, Riverside drove the ball 97 yards downfield, which was finished off by a 2 yard TD run by Maloney, and with the extra point, Riverside now led 23-13, with 46 seconds left in the half.
A quick 3 and out by Willoughby led to a short punt that gave Riverside the ball at the South 48. A long run by Maloney, and a quick pass to WR Etha Moss gave Riverside one more chance to score before the half, but a throw to the end zone was broken up, and our score at the half- Riverside 23, Willoughby South 13.
The second half began with Riverside receiving the ball on a short kickoff at the 35. After a 10 yard rush by Maloney, and a r5 yard un by Elly to get the ball to the 50, The Riverside drive was marred by penalties, and they were unable to move the ball after failing on a 3rd and 18.
The next Willoughby drive was controlled by the rushing attack of Singleton and Quinlan who converted on a 4th and 1 to keep t drive alive inside the Riverside 40, but a tipped pass on 3ed and 4 at the RIverside 29 led to a failed conversion attempt on 4th down turning the ball over to Riverside.
The next Riverside drive starting at their own 29 was a short one, as a couple of short runs led to a 62 yard run by Jason Mackie, With the extra point, Riverside now led 30-13 with 4:39 left in the 3rd quarter.
The fireworks continued on the next drive, as after not being able to find anyone open on a pass attempt, Willoughby South QB Quinlan scored on a 60 yard QB run. Making the score 30-20, Riverside.
Riverside didn't have much go well for them on the next drive, as the Willoughby South defense was able to finally get them to go 3 and out, which was highlighted by a big hit. They then took advantage of a fumbled punt snap, which led to a 22 yard fumble return by Willoughby South OL/DL Luka Soric, bringing our score to Riverside 30, Willoughby South 27 with just under 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. What looked to be a game getting out of hand, now was close
Riverside then began to lean on their running game, as RB Jason Mackie busted off a 33 yard gain ,then gained 12 more. Add on a quick pass, and Riverside was quickly at the Willoughby 26. A couple of penalties set them back, but the 3rd quarter ended with a Riverside lead of 30-27, and they were threatening to add on more, with the ball on the Willoughby South 30.
The fourth quarter began with no movement by Riverside who then missed a 47 yard FG attempt, which gave Willoughby South the ball back at their own 20 with a chance to take the lead back for the 1st time since the first quarter.
Willoughby was paced by the running game of Singleton, and looked to be in prime position to score, after a 36 yard pass from Quinlan to Singleton gave them the ball at the Riverside 23, but the next play, Quinlan threw an interception to Riverside's Cameron Simpson at the seven yard line, ending the drive.
Riverside then conducted a punishing 93 yard drive, all on the ground, capped off by a six yard run by QB Mikey Maloney. Add on the extra point, and Riverside now led 37-27, with 2:52 left in the game.
Willoughby had one last gasp, but after getting nothing in 3 lays, QB Mikey Quinlan took a big hit on 4th down which led to a fumble recovered by teammate Tyrone Singleton, but he could only get the ball back to line of scrimmage, and Willoughby South turned the ball over on downs.
With a short field Riverside was able to score one more time with 1:42 left in the game, making the score 44-27.
Players of the Game
Riverside-QB Mike Maloney 14 curries, 106 yards, 3 TDs
Willoughby South-RB Tyrone Singleton-13 carries, 147 yards, 3 TDs
Riverside coach Dave Bors talked about his teams big win following the game.
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