Riverside showed off its big-play capability Friday night.
William Jackson returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown in the opening half and added a 47-yard interception return for a score in the second half to spark the host Warriors past St. Albans 44-27 in a mutual season opener.
A crowd of about 1,200 attended the Class AAA Mountain State Athletic Conference matchup at Quincy.
Jackson's 47-yard interception return began a stretch of three unanswered TDs by Riverside in the third quarter that turned the Warriors' 23-13 halftime lead into a comfortable 44-13 advantage by the time the binge was over.
"When he turns a corner,'' said Riverside coach Ralph Hensley, "if you're not there, he'll outrun you. I think his best years are ahead of him.''
After a punt by SA following Jackson's pick six, Riverside needed just three plays to score again as senior quarterback Trevor Rumberg dashed 35 yards up the middle for a score.
The Warriors' defense forced another punt by the Red Dragons and four plays later, Rumberg found senior wide receiver Marcus Reed for a 27-yard TD, the pair's second of the game. The two hooked up in the first quarter on a 29-yarder in which Reed soared above the defender to wrest the ball away and come down with it while on his back in the end zone.
"We were better than the scrimmage at the [MSAC] Grid-o-rama,'' said the 5-foot-5, 163-pound Jackson, who finished with 170 total yards (111 return yards and 59 rushing on five carries).
"That's what our main goal was - to work hard. We're practicing hard. I feel like we have more [explosive players] than we did last year. We don't have to rely on one person.''
Rumberg finished with 104 yards passing and two TDs with no interceptions and added 41 yards on 10 carries and two more scores. Reed had two catches for 56 yards with two TDs. Senior tailback Aaron Halstead gained 90 yards on seven carries to spearhead a ground attack that chewed up 313 yards.