Riverside's fight falls short in loss to Fuquay-Varina
There is a difference, Riverside head coach David Hackeny told his team, between learning to compete and learning to win.
The Pirates never stopped competing Friday against Fuquay-Varina, but the 22-20 non-conference home loss showed they still have some learning to do. With 2:51 remaining in the fourth quarter, Cameron Roane’s 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown brought Riverside within one score of the Bengals.
Fuquay, though, was able to bleed the clock down until there was too little time left for the Riverside offense to mount a scoring drive.
“Our fight,” impressed Hackney. “We fought to the very last play. We don’t hang our heads or get discouraged anymore when things don’t go our way.”
Through two games, including last week’s win over Chapel Hill, Riverside looks like a completely different program than the one of recent vintage. But on the opening drive, Bengals fullback Damarus Williams made the home team look like the Pirates of old. Williams carried the ball eight times on the game’s opening drive, accounting for all 80 yards of a touchdown march right that went right through the middle of the defense.
“We got off to a slow start,” Hackney said. “We were slow to make adjustments to what they were doing and they got out to a lead.”
An answer was quickly given with Dionte Strothers hitting Roane for a 64-yard completion on Riverside’s first play from scrimmage. Jonathan Rhew eventually capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run, but a missed point-after-touchdown kick left the Pirates trailing 8-6 and fighting uphill the rest of the game.
Fuquay averaged just less than eight yards per carry while collecting 361 rushing yards. A touchdown drive, capped by a 1-yard Damarus Williams run, gave the Bengals a two-score lead. Williams finished with a game-high 157 yards on 27 carries.
Fullback Joel Evans led Riverside with 68 rushing yards on 13 carries in a battle of triple-option offenses.
“We told our kids they have to hate losing more than they love winning,” said Hackney. “And we’re getting there.”
Both teams are now 1-1 on the season.
FUQUAY-VARINA 22, RIVERSIDE 20
Fuquay-Varina-Damarus Williams 24-yard run (Daniel Neikens run), 7:44
Riverside-Johnathan Rhew 5-yard run (kick failed), 3:05
Fuquay-Varina-D. Williams 1-yard run (Williams Mann kick), :20
Riverside-Christopher Abraham 2-yard pass from Diante Strothers (Micah Goodwin kick), 7:40.
Fuquay-Varina-Tyler Williams 5-yard run (Mann kick), 3:06.
Riverside-Cameron Roane 85-yard kickoff return (Goodwin kick), 2:51.
RUSHING-FV, D. Williams 27-157, Eric Sugarman 5-96, T. Williams 11-63, Tyler MacBride 3-45. R, Joel Evans 13-68, Strothers 11-36, James Vample 5-34, Rhew 7-11, Roane 1-11, Erick Hunt 1-0.
PASSING-FV, T. Williams 0-2-0-0. R, Strothers 6-13-1-102.
RECEIVING-R, Christopher Abraham 3-18, Troy Hill 2-20, Roane 1-64.
Records-Fuquay-Varina 1-1, Riverside 1-1.