Competing in their third regular season game with multiple injuries didn’t derail the Northern Neck Rivermen from earning their third victory this season. In one of their closer games of the season, the Rivermen edged out a 9-6 win over the Virginia Hornets.
Rivermen Kicker Barrett Hollingsworth, one of the longest active semipro football players in the Mason Dixon Football League, was credited with lifting the team after a field goal within the last 15 seconds of the game.
Hollingsworth struggled earlier in the game after missing an extra-point attempt, but the kicker came through for the team and coach Dennis Cornwell from 21 yards out to seal the win.
“We’re probably the team in the MDFL that works on extra point and field goal attempts the most and it’s paying off for him,” Cornwell said.
Coming into Saturday’s game against the Hornets, the Rivermen outscored their opponents 89-6. The Hornets gave the Rivermen fits both on offense in the red zone as well as on defense with the rushing attack.
The Hornets took a 6-0 lead before the half, but were unable to stop Rivermen’s Chris Wilson from punching in a touchdown from one yard out late in the third quarter.
A false start followed by a missed extra point attempt kept both teams tied to start the fourth quarter.
The Hornets tried to run out as much of the clock as possible after both teams exchanged possessions. But in a punting situation, the Hornets turned the ball over after a bad snap went over the punter’s head.
The Rivermen would take over with 30-yards to cover for a score with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Wide-out Mike Howard moved the Rivermen offense a bit closer and it was Hollingsworth that would cap off the drive giving the team a 9-6 victory.
The Rivermen will host the Virginia Titans to start a stretch of three straight home games at King George High School on Aug. 3. Game time is at 7 p.m., doors opening at 6 p.m. The Titans come off of their first win of the season after defeating the Virginia Steelers, 29-17, after three games. Last season, the Rivermen and Titans split the season in head-to-head competition.
“We definitely have our work cut out for us,” Cornwell said. “Our goal this week is try to get healthy and get these guys ready to play.”
Out of 14 players injured, seven of which are starters. Cornwell credited the win to everyone stepping up when the time came.
“We limped into that game Saturday night and it took every single player to get that win,” Cornwell said.
On defense, safety Devonte Reynolds had an interception to go along with one tackle and two assists. Tony Russell led the team with five tackles, Dominic Fields and RJ Jones each had eight assists. Linebacker Sid Thompson recovered a fumble.
The Rivermen will host the Arbutus Big Red on Aug. 10 and Virginia Hornets on Aug. 17. All games begin at 7 p.m.
The Rivermen will travel to Richmond for their second meeting against the Titans on Sept. 7 (7 p.m.) following a bye week. Then on Sept. 7, the Rivermen will play their final home game of the regular season at 7 p.m.
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 0 0 6 3-9
HOR 0 6 0 0-6
Rushing: M. Howard 10-23, W. Covington 1-(-15), D. Wilson 5-9 TD, D. Jackson 2-(-6)
Passing: W. Covington 12-24-0-205
Receiving: M. Howard 4-28, J. Steele 3-93, J. Weldon 4-63, D. Jackson 1-22