Springdale tramples Riverview behind ground game that gains 278 yards
Legendary football coach Chuck Wagner was honored and celebrated in an emotional time of recognition before Friday's Eastern Conference game between Riverview and Springdale at Riverside Park.
Wagner, who died earlier this week at age 82, served as the coach of Springdale and Oakmont/Riverview, among other stops, during his five decades on the local sidelines.
The Dynamos and Raiders then got down to business, both hoping for an important conference win in their quests for a spot in the WPIAL Class A playoffs.
The ground game for Springdale turned out to be the difference. The Dynamos didn't have any passing yards, but they rushed for 278 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-13 victory.
“I would've like to have stayed in our regular offense for a little longer, but we lined up in the (power) I and took advantage of some things there with our size,” Springdale coach Seth Napierkowski said.
“We did a nice job of getting off the ball up front and got a nice push.”
The victory evened the Dynamos' overall record at 3-3 and put them at 2-1 in the Eastern Conference.
“That was a big win for us. We needed that,” Springdale running back Josh Harmon said. “We started off a little rough, but it was nice to get these last two (Leechburg and Riverview). They really boosted our confidence.”
Harmon led the Dynamos' rushing attack with 164 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries.
He got the scoring started with a 10-yard run late in the first quarter and added TD runs of 3 and 15 yards in the second half as Springdale pulled away from a 21-6 halftime advantage.
“The line did a great job of opening up holes,” Harmon said. “It was green from there.”
Parker Kline helped build the halftime lead with second-quarter scoring runs of 4 and 5 yards. He finished with 47 yards on 10 carries.
Scott Landis gained 57 yards on seven attempts, and Dylan Hargengrader got into the act with 24 yards and a touchdown on four carries.
“This win is really going to help our chances for the playoffs,” Harmon said.
On the flip side, Riverview, 1-4 overall and in the Eastern Conference, struggled to established much on offense. Eleven penalties and three turnovers contributed to its sluggishness.
The Raiders finished with 95 yards of total offense — minus-2 yards in the second half.
Springdale picked off Riverview quarterback Jared Massack three times in the first half. Landis had two of the interceptions, with one stopping a Raiders push inside the Dynamos 40.
The other one, deep in Riverview territory, set up a short field and led to Kline's first touchdown and a 14-0 Springdale lead early in the second quarter.
Josh Jones had the third Springdale interception.
“We had too many mistakes to be successful, obviously,” Riverview coach Matt Bonislawski said. “They initiated contact on both sides of the ball. They took the game to us. We were in too many long-yardage situations.”
Devon Binz scored on a 4-yard run in the second quarter and returned a kickoff 78 yards in the fourth to account for Riverview's touchdowns.
“The guys on defense are coming into their own and starting to understand the system a little bit better,” Napierkowski said. “They are trusting their reads and trusting their keys. We saw that all come together numerous times (Friday).”
Ben Blacksmith had a spurt in the second quarter where he carried the ball three times for 55 yards, but the Raiders senior left the game with an injury before halftime and didn't return.
Binz and Cody Demko had interceptions for the Raiders.
Up next for Springdale is undefeated Jeannette next Friday at home.
The Jayhawks defeated Bishop Canevin on Friday, 51-7, and scored 50 or more points for the third time this season.
Riverview will try to bounce back next Friday at Greensburg Central Catholic.
Michael Love is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com.