River Valley gets first win over Pioneer in a decisive manner
For the River Valley Falcons, it may have taken seven years to accomplish, but they made school history Friday night by downing Pioneer High for the first time, 49-28.
"I am feeling amazing right now," beamed RV quarterback Izaya Johnson, who engineered the commanding victory.
The Falcons exploded out of the blocks, as they raced to a 28-0 first-quarter lead, extended it to 42-9 at halftime, and never looked back.
It was quite an offensive show, as the Falcons (4-2 overall, 1-0 in the Tri-County Conference) scored on their first and last offensive plays of the first half.
Leading the first-half onslaught was junior T.J. Dove, who stunned the Patriots (3-3, 0-1) by scoring TDs the first three times he touched the ball. Dove accumulated 240 total yards on the night on just seven attempts. He had two electrifying punt returns for TDs that covered 78 and 70 yards. He added two rushing TDs that went for 55 and 11 yards. It was a night to be remembered.
"T.J. was phenomenal, and is really fun to watch," said a pleased winning coach Brandon Asher. "He makes plays and creates problems for other teams, but if you asked him about the game, he'd talk about the team victory."
While Dove took center stage on the night, there were other heroes for the Falcons, as they lit up the scoreboard like a pinball machine.
Johnson had a solid outing, tossing for 129 yards and a TD. His favorite receiver was wideout Jordan Noall, who nabbed six catches for 110 yards, including a 20-yard TD reception. Johnson also had a nifty 13-yard scramble for another score.
The most bizarre touchdown of the night came on the last play of the first half.
RV kicker Triston Montoya, who converted on all seven of his extra-point attempts, lined up to kick a 28-yard field goal with just seconds left, but the snap was muffed. Holder Josh Benton recovered the bad snap and scrambled to his left, finding Dewey Maxham wide open for an 18-yard TD pass to add the exclamation point to the first half.
Trailing 49-9 late in the third quarter, Pioneer tried to make a game of it, scoring three late TDs, but it was much too little, much too late.
On the night, the Falcons accumulated 360 total yards of offense, 185 coming on the ground and 175 in the air.
Johnson summed up the victory for all by saying, "We made school history tonight. We came out fired up and wanted to win. Now we have to keep making positive steps each week to get to the playoffs."