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Appeal-Democrat Sports Editor John Stevens

As an advocate for the great sport of football, I’m sure you’ve heard by now: Football is back. 

Friday night I covered my first game of the season when I made my way out to River Valley High School for the Falcons’ season opener against the Woodland Wolves. 

Here are three takeaways from the game: 

River Valley’s

defense balled out 

The Falcons knew they had a tough task ahead of them facing Woodland’s Zachary Davis. An elusive quarterback who can make even the smartest defensive player look like a rookie. 

But the Falcons weren’t phased. In the first half they stood on their heels. Multiple times the Falcons came up with huge stops on fourth and short to force a turnover on downs. Not to mention the fumble recovery by Abraham Anguiano. 

Other than a last second score to end the first half, the Falcons defense was not budging. In the second half Trevor Perrucci led the charge as he pressured Davis multiple times and even got a sack. 

Lastly – as if they hadn’t done enough – River Valley’s defense sealed the deal when cornerback Raiden Toche snagged the game-winning interception with next to no time left in the game. 

Young talent is

exciting to watch

River Valley’s Ryan Moore is just a sophomore, but other than one untimely fumble, you would have never known it on Friday night. 

The running back was a late call-up from the Falcons’ junior varsity team, but he’s taken the opportunity and made the most of it. 

Moore’s play on Friday night was noticed by his coaches as he was one of many players honored in the team’s post-game pow-wow. 

While Moore did have a late-game fumble, he will only get better with more experience. By the time his senior year rolls around I would expect him to be a major threat. 

First game of the year means penalties galore

It felt like there was a face–mask on just about every drive Friday night. I’m sure that’s an exaggeration, but it was clear both teams were a little off their game. 

River Valley co-head coach Brennan McFadden was clearly not happy with the sloppy penalties of a lot of his players committed, but it’s to be expected when these kids are in the early parts of the season. 

Looks for the Falcons to try and play much cleaner next week against River City. 

***

It was a tough week for me mentally. I had some personal issues on top of a large workload. 

When I made my way out to the game on Friday night I began to notice a theme: Everyone was in such a welcoming mood. 

From the moment I walked into the stadium to the last post-game interview question I asked I was surrounded with joyful natures. 

During half-time I was typing up some notes from the first half and a lady approached me to tell me that she appreciates all of the coverage the Appeal-Democrat does for the community. 

After a week full of hardship it was refreshing to hear someone approach me with support. 

People need to hear this kind of positive reinforcement. You never know what you could be doing for someone’s livelihood.

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