Hot 5: Riverdale gets its chance
Riverdale will get a better idea of how it stands this week after making a trip to Carrollton.
The Raiders are off to a 2-0 start and are seeking their first trip to the playoffs since 2012. The program was close a year ago and played region champion Jonesboro as tough as anyone. Now with a roster that includes some good senior leadership, this could be the year Riverdale gets back in the postseason.
After opening with wins over North Clayton and Drew, the Raiders will take a serious step up in competition when they travel to play No. 4 Carrollton (1-0) at Grisham Stadium. If the Raiders can find a way to knock off the Trojans, their season can take a different path.
“We’re excited about Friday,” Riverdale coach Terry Herrod said. “Carrollton is one of the top five traditional football programs in the state and they’ve got a great venue. They’re as good on defense as any team we’ll see all year. But we’re excited. We know it’s a challenge, but we think it will show us where we’re at.”
Riverdale has three three-year senior starters on offense: left tackle Brian Williams (6-3, 315), receiver Greg White (6-3, 180) and quarterback Joseph Cambridge (6-2, 190).
“(Cambridge) is playing as well as anybody right now,” Herrod said. Last week Cambridge had a 60-yard touchdown run negated by a penalty and had two touchdown passes dropped. “When you have a quarterback who’s been in your system three years, he knows how to get things done.”
Three-year defensive starters are Deon Andrews at safety and Josh Moore at linebacker. Sophomore defensive linemen Dante Walker (6-3, 240) and Wykevious Thomas (6-3, 315) are future stars in the making.
Carrollton took last week off after opening the season with a 16-6 win over Newnan. The Trojans are loaded with Division I talent, including defensive back LaDamion Hunt (Indiana) and offensive lineman Case Cook (Missouri).
Here are four other interesting games on this week’s schedule:
Thomas County Central at Cairo: The No. 5-ranked Yellow Jackets (2-0) hit the road to play another traditional South Georgia opponent. The two sides have played each other every year since 1986. Thomas County leads the overall series 23-19-1, but Cairo has won the last two meetings.
Creekside vs. Southwest DeKalb (Hallford Stadium): Southwest DeKalb (2-0) is coming off an impressive 21-20 win over Cedar Grove, the No. 4 team in Class AAA. The Panthers drove 69 yards in 10 plays and scored with 3:07 left. Quarterback Justin Tomlin ran for 102 yards and threw for 71 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the win. Creekside (1-0) is a perennial playoff team and the 2013 state champion which defeated Norland of Miami 9-7 in the opener.
Ola at Heritage: Ola has been playing football since 2006, but the Mustangs have never started the a season with three straight weeks. Ola hopes to get more than 70 yards rushing from standout Chris Rodriguez against Heritage (0-1), a team it has never faced.
Arabia Mountain vs. Redan (Hallford): Arabia Mountain (2-0) has only been playing football since 2009 and the Rams had never won their first two games. Coach Stanley Pritchett’s team has yet to give up a point this season after posting shutouts against Stone Mountain and King. Arabia Mountain is 2-0 against Redan (1-1), including last year’s 24-14 win.