Apollo-Ridge routs Riverview, setting up showdown with West Shamokin
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Apollo-Ridge quarterback Jesse Zelonka had a busy day Saturday.
The senior ran for 236 yards and passed for 111 yards as the Vikings took the measure of Riverview, 41-16, in an Eastern Conference game at Riverside Park.
Among the highlights for Zelonka was a 92-yard run from scrimmage and a 64-yard scoring strike to Alex Smith.
The Vikings victory sets up a showdown for third place Friday at Owens Field against West Shamokin.
Apollo-Ridge (6-2, 5-2) is rated ninth in the current Trib Total Media Class A poll.
Riverview fell to 1-7, 1-6.
The all-time series between the two schools is tied at 8-8.
Dom Schrecengost recovered a muffed opening kickoff for the Vikings at the Riverview 30, but the Raiders held.
On the following possession, Zelonka dove into the end zone for an apparent touchdown, but the officials ruled him out of bounds at the Riverview 3, setting up a run for Ben Gembella on the following play.
The Raiders drove deep into Apollo-Ridge territory, but on fourth down, lineman Joe Brown caught a short pass, but an ineligible receiver penalty gave Apollo-Ridge possession at its 8.
On the first play from scrimmage, Zelonka found an opening on the right side and raced 92 yards for a touchdown.
Late in the second period, Zelonka found Smith open on a fly pattern left for a 64-yard scoring play that put the Vikings in front, 21-0, as Apollo-Ridge continued its quest to finish the regular season on a high note.
“If anything, we want to gain momentum,” Zelonka said. “Playoffs are coming and we have a big game against West Shamokin who we're tied with in the conference right now.”
Riverview's Jake Massack recovered an Apollo-Ridge fumble on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. The Raiders drove 42 yards in seven plays, with Tyler Nigro hauling in a 24-yard pass from Zach Hanus to put Riverview on the scoreboard.
“We moved the ball well, offensively, and made some great plays, defensively,” said Raiders coach Todd Massack. “We just can't string enough of them together. That's kind of been the story of our season.”
Another Vikings fumble, this one recovered by Jake Paradise, halted an Apollo-Ridge drive. But Riverview couldn't capitalize.
Gembella, Lonny Wells and freshman Duane Brown all ran for touchdowns on the next three Vikings possessions to put the game away.
“This was a little sloppy to begin with,” said Apollo-Ridge coach John Skiba. “We've played opponents where their records weren't great and it's tough getting the kids to focus. Then we have four turnovers today, which was absolutely inexcusable by us.”
Riverview's Keir Barber, who carried the ball 36 times for 144 yards, concluded the scoring with a nine-yard run with 10 seconds left in the game.
“I think we wanted it, we moved the ball, but we couldn't finish,” Barber said. “We'd take some bad penalties and let a few plays get away from us.”
Apollo-Ridge collected 466 offensive yards.
George Guido is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- WPIAL teams value hard-to-come-by nonconference games in Week 1
- Previewing Week 1 high school football matchups
- Quaker Valley football team looks to overcome injuries
- Through the years: Heard’s TD capped Valley rally
- Football pedigree runs deep with Valley receiver Hill
- Monessen isn’t talking ‘rebuild’
- Schoolboy pick of week: TJ
- Three of a kind: Football coaches who took different routes
- Connellsville’s Knopsnider will split time on both sides of ball this season
- WPIAL coaches, quarterbacks have concerns about using newly approved footballs
- Expectations vs. reality