Truby preserves Riverview win
APOLLO -- Riverview's Sean Truby has been asked to do a lot this season.
The senior switched from tight end to quarterback because of an injury, plays defensive end, and has kicked extra points and has passed and caught two-point conversion attempts.
But Friday night, Truby might have made his biggest play of the season when Apollo-Ridge was driving for a potential game-tying touchdown at the Raiders 7.
Truby stripped the ball from Vikings quarterback Jeff Zelonka on fourth-and-three with 3:58 left in the game to preserve a 21-14 Riverview victory at Owens Field.
The victory gave the Raiders a 4-1 record in Eastern Conference play, one game behind first-place Springdale. Riverview is 5-2 overall. Apollo-Ridge slipped to 2-3, 2-5.
The Raiders had broken a 14-all tie on Derek Geraci's one-yard plunge with 10:04 left in the game. The Vikings responded with 12-play drive deep into Riverview territory. On fourth down, Zelonka rolled right. Truby followed and stripped the ball from the Apollo-Ridge senior. The ball rolled backwards and out of bounds, giving the Raiders possession at the 11.
"He's a tremendous kid," Riverview coach Joe Rossi said of Truby. "From tight end to quarterback, back to tight end. Then he caught a nice two-point conversion."
"My assignment was to follow the quarterback out of the pocket on that play," Truby said.
"We were running an option to throw or to keep it," Vikings coach Jerry Moore said.
Riverview took a 14-0 lead on a pair of touchdowns by tailback Gino Scampone. The sophomore scored on a 13-yard run up the middle, escaping two waves of Vikings tacklers with 5:03 left in the opening period.
The extra-point attempt was blocked by Chris Stewart, an important play because Riverview was forced to go for a two-point conversion after Scampone's three-yard run. Truby hauled in the conversion pass from C.J. Peters, moving into the end zone over left tackle.
Apollo-Ridge came out roaring in the second half, tying the game after its first two possessions. The Vikings took the third quarter kickoff and drove 52 yards in just four plays put the Vikings on the scoreboard. A 37-yard run by the explosive Chris Stewart brought Apollo-Ridge to within a touchdown.
Stewart recovered a Scampone fumble at the Riverview 40, setting up a seven-yard run by Doug Bandurak to tie the game. The key play of the drive was a 16-yard run over right end by Stewart.
"At halftime, I told them that we had beaten ourselves in the first half," Moore said. "They hadn't really stopped us and we should come out and do it."
Riverview responded with 14-play, 82-yard drive keeping the ball on the ground the entire way.
"We didn't make any adjustments at halftime," Rossi said. "We decided to run, run, run and it paid off. (Linemen) Shane Steffey, Matt Antenucci and Dave Traffican at center have done a great job."
Riverview will continue the quest for a return to the WPIAL playoffs after a two-year absence next Saturday at home against Wilkinsburg. The kickoff has been moved from noon to 2 p.m.
Apollo-Ridge will try to get back on the winning track next week at Serra Catholic in a game slated to start at noon.