"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 tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.