Have a nice day, and thank you for flying Pirate Air.
Well, maybe that’s going a little too far, but the ground-hugging, dirt-loving Riverview football team, which has made a very successful living the past few years rushing the ball, rushing the ball and rushing it some more, broke out an impressive passing game on Oct. 2 and used it to crush Huron League rival Carlson Airport 42-6.
The win was Riverview’s third straight and came after the Bucs beat defending Division 7 state champ Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 35-7 on opening night and league favorite Milan 24-13 on the road a week later.
Junior quarterback Preston Thompson, who threw just six passes, completing three for 71 yards in the first two games, cut loose in leading his team to the runaway victory.
Thompson completed 6-of-8 passes for 183 yards and a pair of scores as the Bucs trounced the Jets and remained unbeaten in Huron League play. Riverview is tied atop the league with unbeaten Huron, but the teams will not meet in this strange season as their game was one of three for each team cancelled earlier this season because of the pandemic.
The Bucs have games left against Monroe Jefferson, Grosse Ile and non league Redford Thurston before embarking on the MHSAA state playoffs. All teams will make the playoffs this season.
Against the Jets, Riverview scored midway through the first quarter and never looked back, Jimari Moultrie capped a 60-yard march with a 10-yard run. Ben Johnson carried in the two-point conversion and Riverview had an 8-0 lead it would never relinquish.
Airport marched to the Riverview 19-yard line on the next possession, but the Bucs stopped them and then took the wraps off their passing game.
Thompson lofted a bomb to Moultrie, who caught it in-stride near midfield and covered the rest of the 71-yard scoring hookup with his legs. Jacob Puma carried in the two-pointer and with two second to play in the first quarter, it was 16-0.
The lead grew to 24-0 when Christian Lopez scored on a two-yard run. That TD was set up by a 36-yard pass to Landon Kincaid. Thompson’s two-point conversion run increased the lead even more.
On the ensuing kickoff, the few Airport fans on hand got their only chance to cheer as the Jets returned the kick about 70 yard for their only score of the night. The two-point conversion failed.
The second half was more of the same.
The play of the night came early in the second half when Thompson heaved a bomb to a wide-open Gavin Blackwood. The ball was clearly overthrown, but Blackwood never gave up, laid out and made an amazing catch. The play covered 40 yards and set up Thompson’s 10-yard scoring pass to Moultrie.
Jacob Shupe later scored on a 10-yard run and after Zach Werling caused a fumble and Shupe recovered it. Jonathan Overall capped the Riverview scoring with a fourth-quarter, 30-yard touchdown run.
It was a huge night not only for QB Thompson, but also for Moultrie, who had 138 yards from scrimmage, three touchdowns and a pass interception.
Riverview 24, Milan 12
On Sept. 25, Riverview traveled to Milan and beat the Big Reds on their home turf 24-7.
Riverview got touchdown runs from Ben Johnson, Jacob Puma and Christian Lopez and converted two-point conversions after all their scores.
Riverview’s ground game was all but impossible for Milan to stop as the Bucs rolled up 325 yards. Johnson rushed for 90 yards, Jimari Moultrie rushed for 88 and Puma for 63.
Defensively, Riverview held Milan to just 198 total yards. The defense was keyed by Noah Grundwald with a dozen tackles and Landon Kincaid with nine tackles and two sacks. Kincaid, Moultrie and Cal Lockhart all had pass interceptions as the Bucs held Milan quarterback Cole McElvany to just 10 completions on 21 throws.
Riverview 35, SMCC 7
If you know anything about Riverview athletics, you know how big it is beating old rival Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, so the first night of the 2020 high school football season was a real party for the Bucs.
Riverview got five touchdowns from five different players, four of them rushing and one on a fumble recovery and return.
Quarterback Preston Thompson, Jimari Moultrie, Ben Johnson and Nico Martin scored the Riverview rushing touchdowns and Jacob Puma had the fumble recovery for a score. Puma had two recoveries in the game.
Landon Kincaid had a monster game defensively, with 11 tackles, two sacks and a caused fumble.