Riverfield 6, Tallulah 0
Ben Sylvestri may not have threatened Usain Bolt's Olympic sprint records, but his 69-yard ramble to the endzone accounted for the only points of the game as Riverfield knocked off Tallulah 6-0 in the opener of Friday night's Prairie View Jamboree.
With Tallulah facing fourth-and-nine from the Riverfield 27, the 5-11, 290-pound Sylvestri stripped the ball away from a runner in the backfield and began striding toward the endzone. Just as it appeared that he was about to be tracked down from behind, Marc Simmons, a 5-5, 190-pound freshman, delivered a crushing block inside the 10 to give his senior teammate a clear path to paydirt.
An exhausted Sylvestri was mobbed by teammates and coaches as he made his way back to the sideline.
Ryan Hodge intercepted Riverfield's 2-point pass, but Sylvestri had staked the Raiders to a 6-0 lead with 3:37 to play in the 15-minute contest.
Starting from its own 30, Tallulah needed just one play to move the chains as Zach Boney carried for 12 yards to the 42. However, the drive quickly fizzled and the Raiders were able to run out the clock.
Tallulah threatened on the game's opening possession, moving from its own 30 to the 17, before turning the ball over on downs.
Quarterback Tyler Boyette's 15-yard scamper resulted in a first down at the Riverfield 22, but an illegal motion penalty and an eight-yard sack by Dylan Lively and Logan Gandy led to second-and-23.
Boney picked up 11 yards on a toss sweep to the right side and Boyette kept for seven to bring up a manageable fourth-and-five from the 17. Sylvestri then shot through the line to sack Boyette for a loss of 10.
Starting from the 27, Riverfield converted a third-and-15 when Will Stansbury hooked up with Brennan Morris for a 32-yard pickup to the Tallulah 47.
Four plays later, on fourth-and-14, Logan Rudd's 21-yard interception return put the Trojans in business at the Riverfield 35.
Boyette kept twice for a first down at the Tallulah 22. Three plays later, Tristan Oswald smothered a third down running play for a loss of two, brining up fourth-and-nine from the 27. Sylvestri took over from there.
Notes: Sylvestri's touchdown was truly a game-changer as Tallulah dominated the stat sheet. Running 22 of the game's 31 offensive plays, the Trojans held a 5-1 edge in first downs and out-gained the Raiders 82-44. Boyette rushed 12 times for 40 yards and Boney added 39 yards on six totes for the Trojans, who attempted only one pass (incomplete). Riverfield finished with negative 14 yards rushing as two errant shotgun snaps resulted in a loss of 20 yards. … Riverfield and Tallulah both made their first appearance under new head coaches. Rob Newsom is guiding the Raiders, while Frank Lloyd is directing the Trojans. … Tim O'Neal, who has held head coaching jobs at Bastrop, St. Frederick and Neville, is Riverfield's new baseball coach. … Riverfield opens the regular season at home Friday vs. Central Hinds (Miss.), while Tallulah hosts Park Place Christian (Miss.).