Guns are illegal on high school campuses, and Riverside might take that to heart. Running its offense out of the pistol with quarterback Diante Strothers taking the shotgun snaps, the Pirates fumbled nine times — including a muffed onside kick grab — and lost the ball five times in all, four on fumbles, in what became a 49-7 home rout to Clayton Cleveland.
UNBEATENS NORTHWOOD, ORANGE TO CLASH IN HILLSBOROUGH
There was little to no doubt that the area’s top high school football conference this season would be the Big Eight 3-A.
With returning state 3-AA champion Southern, state 3-AA semifinalist Orange and 2013 playoff teams Cardinal Gibbons, Northwood and Chapel Hill all in the fold, things couldn’t have looked brighter for the second-year conference.
Turns out, through four games, the Big Eight might have been undervalued. And tonight, the Big Eight jumps into conference play.
The top four teams in the league — Southern, Orange, Northwood and Chapel Hill — are undefeated (4-0) and ranked no lower statewide than 34th in the 3-A ranks by MaxPreps.com, the online partner of the N.C. High School Athletic Association.
One of those four is assured of suffering its first loss tonight as Orange, which has outscored its four opponents by a combined 144-40, hosts Northwood at 7.
Three of Orange's wins have come at the expense of 4-A programs from the embattled PAC-6.
Northwood has outscored its four victims 172-29 and is ranked 26th (3-A), Orange 13th.
Chris Howell envisioned a track meet looming between host Riverside and visiting Apex Friday. What the Riverside football coach didn’t foresee was his Pirates dropping the baton six times as the Cougars ran away to a 49-25 win.
To win some you have to lose some. That’s the case as least if you believe Riverside High School first year football coach Christopher Howell, who talked about that after his Pirates defeated Cedar Ridge High School 33-13 Friday in Hillsborough to claim their first victory of the season.
Tay Jones and Eryk Brandon-Dean scored two touchdowns apiece and quarterback Garrett Cloer threw a pair as Orange dominated Riverside 45-12 on Friday night.
A pair of long touchdown runs by Fuquay-Varina High School’s Eric Sugarman, during a first half when he reached the 200-yard mark in rushing yards, helped the Bengals build a four-touchdown lead in a 34-20 win over Riverside on Friday night.
East Chapel Hill transfer quarterback Connor Stough threw for 173 yards and a touchdown, and added a key run on third down which led to an important score before halftime, as visiting Chapel Hill ran over Riverside 45-21.
If first-year Riverside high school football coach Chris Howell has his way, improvement will be the mantra for his Pirates as they embark on the 2014 campaign.
Former Hillside and Riverside high school point guard Justice Kithcart, who announced just over a week ago that he would transfer to Winston-Salem Quality Education Academy, has changed his mind and announced Wednesday that he will play at Lynchburg, Va., Virginia Episcopal this season.
RIVERSIDE'S TJ WARREN IS LIKELY 1ST ROUND PICK IN THURSDAY'S NBA DRAFT
From the ACC blood running through his veins to pickup games with future NBA players across town when he played at Riverside High School, T.J. Warren seemed destined to make Durham basketball history.
He did so last season at N.C. State by winning ACC player of the year and he’s set to take it a step further at the NBA Draft tonight.
Warren joins 19 other top prospects as invited guests to the NBA Draft at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where he’s projected to be a first-round pick.
If things go as expected, the 6-8 high-scoring forward will be the first Durham native since Hillside High School’s Rodney Rogers in 1993 to be a first-round pick in the NBA Draft.
“That means a lot,” Warren said. “Growing up in Durham in a tough environment, just to be able to do something positive playing the game I love is big for me and for the city as well.”
Warren followed his father, former N.C. State player Tony Warren, to play for the Wolfpack. He topped his father by being named ACC player of the year after averaging a league-leading 24.9 points per game last season and leading the Wolfpack to a third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth.
His bloodlines were only the beginning of his indoctrination to high-level basketball. When Warren played at Riverside early in his high school career, he would head to Duke for pick-up games with guys like Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler — all starters on Duke’s 2010 NCAA championship team.
RIVERSIDE'S OWN ALEX BRESE TO FACE MATT ROBERTS FOR HERALD-SUN GOLF CLASSIC TITLE TODAY
Shhh! Make sure your golf partner isn’t around, because here’s some inside information from the No. 15 seed in the Championship Flight of The Herald-Sun Golf Classic on how he rose from near the bottom of that division and kept hanging around to reach today’s title round:
“I’ve just been playing pretty consistent, hitting greens and just trying to make pars,” Durham’s Alex Brese, the next-to-last seed in the 16-player top flight, said after his 1-up semifinal win over Creedmoor’s Britt Mitchell at Hillandale Golf Course on Saturday.
It took 19 holes for Melvin Barnes and Matt Roberts, both from Hillsborough, to determine who’d battle Brese for the championship trophy.
“Neither one of us played good. It was kind of just a dig-deep kind of game, gut-wrenching,” Roberts said. “Both of us kind of kept the other one in it.”
Barnes knew it, too. After the 18th hole, he drove off in his golf cart lecturing to himself about how he’d just given one away.
Roberts pounced, finally burying a stubborn putt that lingered for a while before making up its mind to take the dive.
“It had the line the whole way, but I didn’t know if it was going to ever get to the hole,” Roberts said. “It just kind of looked like it barely just died in there, so I guess that’s what you want.”
Definitely. It was a birdie. Barnes couldn’t match it.
Matt Roberts to meet Riverside alum Alex Brese in Championship Flight title match Sunday, June 22. Titles to be decided in seven open flights and two senior division flights on Sunday ... Complete Saturday results and Sunday championship tee times.
The PAC-6 4-A announced its spring sports all-conference teams Thursday and, not surprisingly, PAC-6 champions dominated the coach of the year and player of the year honors.
RIVERSIDE'S PERFECT PAC-6 SEASON UNRAVELS IN 5-RUN 7TH
The Heritage Huskies didn’t get on the scoreboard until the seventh and final inning but put up five runs during that exchange to turn a 3-0 Riverside lead in the 4-A playoff opener into a 5-4 season-ending loss for the Pirates.
Heritage, a No. 4 seed, was an underdog to Riverside, the top seed from the PAC-6, which completed a 10-0 regular conference season.
Millbrook beat Northern 7-4 on Tuesday, leaving East Chapel Hill as the lone PAC-6 team in the playoffs.
In a lot of ways, Riverside literally gave it away.
Riverside senior pitcher Kory Behenna didn’t give up a hit until he surrendered a pair in the fifth. He gave up another one in the sixth but still had a shutout going in the seventh.
Behenna had it working, Heritage coach Tony Piercy said.
“He fooled us quite a bit early in the game,” Piercy said.
Behenna gave up two more hits in the seventh before Blake Morgan came on in relief with no outs and runners on first and second and the Huskies erupted for five runs and the win.
East Chapel Hill fought off Northern 5-3 Friday night in a tiebreaker game at Jordan High School, a neutral site. The contest was added to the teams’ schedules when Northern failed to hang on to a 6-2 lead at Riverside on Thursday.