QUINCY, W.Va. -- Facing his heavily favored alma mater in his coaching debut, first-year Riverside coach Steven Freeman had everything set up to have a memorable first game.
But by the time it was over, it ended up being one he and the Warriors would just as soon forget.
The Knights ran roughshod all evening, piling up 608 rushing yards on 44 carries, and shut down any attempt at offense by Riverside en route to a dominating 70-0 win Thursday night at Warriors Stadium.
Midland, coming off a trip to last year's state Class AAA championship game, made an early statement on both sides of the ball and looks to be every bit as formidable an opponent as it was last season.
In addition to their offensive exploits, the Knights limited Riverside to just 41 total yards, including yielding less than a yard per carry on the ground, and won the first downs battle 21-3.
"They're getting better and that's what we've got to do each and every week," Cabell Midland coach Luke Salmons said. "There's a lot of things I felt like we messed up on but they played hard, the defense played hard and that's what we want. We've got to improve in a lot of areas to be great, but they're playing good and they're excited about playing and that's the main thing."
It's hard not to be excited by what the Midland ground game was able to do on Thursday.
Senior running back Kasey Thomas led the attack, rolling up 133 yards and four touchdowns on just 10 carries before halftime. Thomas added 31 more yards in the second half for a game-high 164.
But the Knights got contributions from just about everyone who touched the football.
Others of note included Daniel Jarrell (four carries, 83 yards), Donte Hendricks (four carries, 68 yards), Teran Barnitz (eight carries, 61 yards), Josh Ellis (seven carries, 55 yards) and Alex Childers (two carries, 71 yards).
Even quarterback Coy Pettit got into the act, taking his one carry 53 yards to the end zone in the second half.
The Knights demonstrated similar rushing balance last season in recording an undefeated regular season and remaining unbeaten right up until a championship loss to Martinsburg.
"It's just like if you run the spread offense you've got to have good receivers and certain things to be successful," Salmons said. "With us, you've got to have three or four good running backs to be great and we feel like we've got those kids."