Leechburg tops Riverview, 31-22
A victory last week raised Leechburg's confidence to a level rarely enjoyed by the Blue Devils this season.
That energy failed to fade for Leechburg, which secured a 31-22 win over Eastern Conference foe Riverview Friday at Veterans Memorial Field.
“I'm just really proud of our boys. For the second week in a row, they've got confidence,” Leechburg coach Mark George said.
Last week, Leechburg (2-5, 2-4) captured its first victory of the season, 35-14, over Northgate.
This week, the Blue Devils relied on senior running backs Alex Kalmar and Kris Smith. Kalmar amassed 171 yards on 31 carries. He scored twice. Smith had 170 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns.
“They still had fresh legs. They just kept pounding and pounding,” George said
Smith's 4-yard touchdown run gave Leechburg the lead for good, 24-22, with 9:03 left in fourth quarter. Kalmar added insurance with a 6-yard score.
“We went down in the third quarter, and they didn't give up,” George said.
Riverview scored first on a 1-yard run by senior quarterback Zach Hanus with just 53 seconds left in the first quarter. Leechburg tied the score 6-6 on a 2-yard run by junior Luke Camp.
The Blue Devils took the lead 12-6 on Kalmar's first TD with 2:24 before the half.
“We came out in the first half and just didn't play very well,” Riverview coach Todd Massack said. “We regrouped in the second half. We told them we need to go out and play better in the second half. We needed to block better and tackle better. I thought we did that and played better in the second half.”
Riverview (1-6, 1-5) surrendered another touchdown on the half's opening kickoff, a 74-yard return by Smith for an 18-6 lead.
The Raiders needed three plays to cut the lead. Junior running back Kier Barber scored from 4 yards.
Riverview forced a three-and-out, and then Barber went 80 yards on a third-and-5 to snatch the lead at 22-18. Barber finished with 178 yards on 18 carries.
“Every week, he gets better and better,” Massack said “He just has that natural ability to cut back and make big plays. He has deceiving speed. When he gets into the open, he's tough to catch.”
Dave Yohe is a freelance writer.