Adding a fourth straight victory to their record this past weekend the Northern Neck Rivermen are all smiles. But those grins will soon disappear as the hometown football team prepares to host the league’s most decorated team, the Arbutus Big Red (3-0).
Articulating the two syllables “Big Red” left owner and coach Dennis Cornwell a minute to consider this weekend’s game before responding.
“Those guys are tough,” Cornwell said.
Two seasons ago, the Rivermen defeated the Big Red in Colonial Beach to win the Mason Dixon Football League Championship. Coach Urlander Giles remembers and said his guys are preparing for the Rivermen.
“We know this team is loaded with speed and Dennis is a good coach,” Giles said.
The Rivermen offense has put up a total of 112 points in comparisons thus far this season to Big Red’s 73. However the Big Red’s defense has only allowed 14 points.*
“This will definitely be our toughest challenge this season and I think our guys are looking for it,” Cornwell said.
Coach explained Arbutus was the primary reason why he scheduled three tough opponents for his guys during the preseason. He predicts a huge battle between both defenses. Eliminating turnovers and focusing for the entire game is key, Cornwell added.
The Rivermen will host the Arbutus Big Red on Aug. 10 and then Virginia Hornets on Aug. 17 with both games beginning at 7 p.m.
Last Saturday, the Rivermen shut out the Virginia Hornets at home 14-0 to earn their fourth straight victory to open the season.
This victory after scores by quarterback Walt Covington connecting with wide receiver Jermaine Weldon for a 17-yard reception, Derrick Manning returned a interception for 32 yards and last week’s clutch kicker Barrett Hollingsworth knocking down both extra point attempts.
Manning caught two interceptions on the day following by Tony Russell with one. Devonte Reynolds added one to his list on the day along recovering a fumble.
Linebacker Sid Thompson led the team with six solo tackles. The team combined for 26 tackles.
“The defense is just unbelievable and pitched a another shutout for us,” Cornwell said. This marked their second shutout game through four games.
Following Saturday’s game against Big Red, the Rivermen will host the Virginia Hornets in King George (7 p.m.) on Aug. 17. Then travel to Richmond for their second meeting against the Titans on Aug. 24 (7 p.m.) followed a bye week.
On Sept. 7, the Rivermen will play their final home game of the regular season at 7 p.m against the Virginia Steelers.
Two road games await the Rivermen traveling to Arbutus on Sept. 14 and to the Virginia Silverbacks in Charlottesville on Sept. 21. Game times are at 7 p.m.
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RIV 7 0 0 7-14
HOR 0 0 0 0-0
Rushing: M. Howard 5-21, W. Covington 4-(-35), T. Short 3-22, A. Ogunwenmo 7-19
Passing: W. Covington 14-32-0-166 TD
Receiving: M. Howard 6-56, J. Steele 2-28, J. Weldon 4-54 TD, M. Robinson 1-16, T. Short 1-12.
*Editor’s note: The Big Red will continue their game against the Virginia Hornets on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m. after lightning suspended the game. The matchup will resume at the third quarter mark in Baltimore.