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Riverside holds off Nitro 28-27 on missed field goal attempt

Lawrence Pierce
Nitro's Brayden Underwood is wrapped up by Riverside's Cameron Igo.

QUINCY, W.Va. -- Riverside's Trevor Rumberg already had the school's single-season passing yardage record in hand, but he wanted more.

The senior quarterback and the rest of his teammates had to sweat it out as Nitro's Alex White missed a 39-yard field goal as time expired, ending the Warriors' eight-game losing streak as Riverside held on for a 28-27 victory on Senior Night. A crowd of about 800 attended the Class AAA Mountain State Athletic Conference matchup at Riverside High School in Quincy.

Riverside called all three of its timeouts each time White lined up for the potential winning kick with 6.5 seconds left. When the snap finally came it was high, and White kicked the ball straight up and to the right as it fell way short of the goal posts. White had earlier made field goals of 42 yards - on which the snap was on the ground and the ball hit the crossbar and bounced over - and 37 yards.

"It's kind of icing on the cake,'' said Rumberg of the passing record. "I really wanted this win first. The record really added to it. The season didn't go the way we expected, but to come out the last game like that and win in that kind of fashion is amazing. Nobody gave up. We played till the very end.''

Rumberg, who became the starter this season, finished the year with 1,678 yards through the air, eclipsing the mark of 1,613 set by Josh Clark in 2004. Rumberg broke the record on a 51-yard pass to senior wide receiver Damarrie' Lain on the Warriors' final possession. Riverside, which is the consolidation of DuPont and East Bank high schools, opened in 1999.

Rumberg completed 11 of 18 passes for 161 yards with one touchdown and one interception and added two rushing scores. He had to sit out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons and only had 12 yards passing in the opening half. Rumberg went 9 of 13 for 149 yards with a score and no picks after halftime.

"I tried to keep my head up and play for the guys,'' Rumberg said. "The line did a great job, Cameron Igo, Alex Atkins, T.K. Pennel, everybody blocked good for me and played a great game. I came out as first-year quarterback and put in a lot of hard work. It wasn't easy, but I kept playing no matter the adversity.''

Rumberg gave Riverside (2-8) the lead for good with 2:34 left in the fourth quarter when he hit senior wide receiver Marcus Reed on a 14-yard slant for a 28-27 edge. Rumberg found Lain for a 51-yard gain that highlighted the drive. Lain hauled in three passes for 70 yards while Reed had five catches for 66 yards.

Senior quarterback Chris Moody marched Nitro from its own 38-yard line to the Riverside 23 on 4-of-4 passing for 30 yards and freshman Brayden Underwood added a 15-yard run. On third-and-4 from the Warriors' 20, Underwood slipped for a 3-yard loss, setting up White's field-goal attempt.

"We won that first one and we wanted to win the last one,'' said Riverside veteran coach Ralph Hensley. "The kids came through for us and made some plays at the end. I'm just glad for the kids.''

Nitro first-year coach Derek Midkiff was ejected late in the second quarter. The Wildcats (2-8), who were flagged 14 times for 123 yards, finished with the school's most wins in several years.

"They responded great,'' said Midkiff of his players. "That's a testament to the best coaching staff in the state. They almost brought them back. We had an opportunity at the end.

"I'm proud of the seniors. The seniors have been through a lot in four years and the way they came out and fought in the second half ... I love each and every one of them. It's only been an up-and-down year in the win-loss column. Anybody knows where this program's been and where it's going, it's been an up year.''

After a scoreless third period, the teams combined for 31 points and four TDs in the final quarter as the lead changed hands four times.

Moody passed for 249 yards on 17-of-30 accuracy with two scoring passes and no interceptions. Nitro senior wideout Austin Goins had 11 receptions for 166 yards while senior receiver Ethan Clark had four catches for 64 yards, including a 44-yard TD strike in the fourth quarter.

Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkinson@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.

 


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