Jeannette races to early lead, shuts out depleted Riverview
Updated 21 hours ago
Even the first-quarter ricochets went Jeannette's way Saturday.
The Jayhawks benefitted from a Raiders handoff batted in the air several times to recover a fumble and later a pass bouncing off the hands of a Riverview defender to a Jeannette receiver for a touchdown.
It was that sort of day for the Class A No. 2 Jayhawks as Jeannette scored 28 points in the first quarter en route to a 43-0 shutout at Oakmont's Riverside Park.
On Riverview's second possession, a bobbled handoff in the Raiders' injury-riddled backfield was batted around several times before Justin Cramer caught the ball and dragged players about 10 yards to the Riverview 12.
Jeannette scored on the following play, a pass from Robert Kennedy to Marcus Barnes to make it 14-0 Jayhawks with 7 minutes, 53 seconds left in the first quarter.
Later, a pass headed for the end zone was defended well by Riverview junior Cody Demko, but the ball was batted to Jackson Pruitt. He was not the intended receiver but was running a parallel pattern about 5 yards away.
Pruitt's touchdown gave the Jayhawks a 28-0 advantage with 1:08 left in the first.
Both head coaches and the officiating crew agreed to play an 8-minute second period with a mostly running clock. It was later determined that could not be done, and the second half saw the PIAA's continuous clock rules apply with the traditional, 12-minute periods.
The Jayhawks (4-0, 3-0) did their part to set the stage for Saturday's showdown in Wilkinsburg against Imani Christian, which lost to California, 41-26. Jeannette's starters only played the first half.
“We tried to get the best work we could possibly get in, considering the circumstances,” Jeannette coach Roy Hall said. “It's a tough situation. You don't want to go out and embarrass anybody, but you still want to prepare your guys for the next game, which is the biggest game of our year, so far.”
Meanwhile, Riverview (1-2, 1-2) dressed just 18 players before Nick Palmiere caught the opening kickoff and suffered a leg injury, making it 17 in uniform.
“We're short-handed any way, but losing Nick on the opening kickoff was a devastating loss,” said Raiders coach Matt Bonislawski. “We had to shuffle a lot of guys who were playing out of position. It happens. We can't make any excuses. We have to play with what we got.”
Kennedy scored the game's first touchdown on a 42-yarder, his only carry of the day. He threw for 93 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter. and returned an interception for a touchdown that was called back.
“We're never satisfied, to be honest,” Kennedy said. “We work very hard in practice though we don't play much in games. Our practices are very lively, and we've still got a lot to work on.”
Kennedy picked up his fifth scholarship offer, this one from Duquesne, earlier last week. He said he wants to concentrate on the remaining schedule before committing to a college after the season.
A bright spot for Riverview was the play of senior running back Luke Coxon, who ran for 74 yards on 16 carries.
“He ran hard,” Bonislawski said. “We had planned on rotating him until Nick went down early in the game. I'm sure Luke is tired. He hasn't had that workload.”
George Guido is a freelance writer.