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Riverside sees proof in Lions’ fast start

Riverside sees proof in Lions’ fast start

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:02 pm

By ALLISON JONES
Special to The Press
The last time Dresden faced off against Riverside, their 2010 playoff run came to an end. Head coach Scott Hewett believes his team came in with something to prove.
“We got after them right off the bat and never let up,” Hewett said. “The other coaches and I have to agree that was a complete game we played tonight, and we’ve been needing one of those.
A 44-13 win moves Dresden to 6-1 on the season, putting them in prime position for another post-season spot. 
Senior quarterback Gatlin Hatchel accounted for 199 of the Lions’ 336 total yards. He went 3-for-5 for 72 yards through the air while his nine rushing attempts for 127 led the team’s ground attack.
Hewett is proud of Hatchel’s consistency for the team this season.
“There were a few times I’d be watching and think Devan (Raymer) had the ball,” said Hewett. “Then (Hatchel) was going down the field and picking up yards, making all the right moves and the right decisions. He’s done an excellent job for us.”
Fellow senior Colin Kanehl had three rushes for 101 yards as well a 16-yard reception. Sophomore Colter Swafford was Hatchel’s top target with two receptions for 56 yards.
The Panthers’ offense was led by sophomore quarterback Luke Ward, who went 12-for-23 for 144 yard. However, Ward threw two interceptions and was sacked four times by the Lions’ defense.
Senior Andrew Lomance led the Riverside receivers with five catches for 49 yards. Senior Marques Phelps was the leading rusher with three carries for 25 yards.
The Lions’ defense put their team on the board first.
After a 47-yard Kanehl punt, pinning the Panthers on their own one-yard line, Senior runningback Aaron Keen was tackled in the end zone for a safety.
After getting the ball back, Hatchel led a 59-yard drive capped off by a 32-yard Kanehl touchdown run. He would miss the extra point, however, leaving the score at 8-0.
Ward put together his own drive on the following possession, getting down to the Lions’ 22-yard line. A costly 13-yard sack on fourth down would stop the Panthers’ momentum and put the ball back in the hands of Hatchel and the Dresden offense.
Three plays later, Hatchel had a 47-yard carry to the end zone, expanding the Dresden lead to 14-0.
The Panthers were able to answer on their following possession with two-yard Ward touchdown carry, cutting the Lions’ lead in half.
Dresden would steal the momentum right back on the following kickoff. Swafford took the ball 85 yards to give his team a 21-7 lead. 
Twenty seconds later, the defense added more points to the Dresden lead. Junior Logan Thomas stripped Ward of the ball, which was then picked up by Jordan Winstead and taken 33 yards to give the Lions a 28-7 lead. 
After another Kanehl punt pinned the Panthers deep in their own territory, Riverside’s Nat Parham was stopped in the end zone for another safety, making Dresden’s lead 30-7.
A 71-yard carry by Kanehl and a 48-yard pass from Hatchel to Swafford would finish off the Lions’ scoring and allowing the second string to get some playing time with a 44-7 lead.
Riverside would reach paydirt one more time on a 20-yard carry by Ward, resulting in the final score of 44-13.
Despite a comfortable win, Hewett knows he has to keep his team focused for next week’s game against Gleason.
“You can’t overlook anybody,” Hewett said. “We’ve been talking about that all year that each game you play is extremely important. We’ve been able to pull out some victories but you still have to go out and play because anything can happen.” Published in The WCP 10.11.11

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