“They played a more complete game than we have in weeks past,” River Ridge coach Robert Braucht said. “Sometimes, it takes a while to get things put together the way you want it, and we were finally able to do that (Friday).”
One year after making a run into the state playoffs, the Knights were left to end their season with a little respect and a 2-8 record.
“The biggest thing is it leaves a positive taste in your mouth. That’s the big thing,” Braucht said. “We wanted our seniors to leave this field under a positive note. These kids have been with me for five years, and I love each and every one of them dearly. I love them like my own children, and I’m very proud of them.”
River Ridge jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, thanks in part to the work of quarterback Marcus Spears, who led the Knights on drives of 72 and 37 yards.
Spears was a steadying force throughout the night, as he paced the Knights with 125 yards passing, tossing touchdowns of 23, 5 and 18 yards.
Facing fourth-and-22 from the 23-yard line, Heritage quarterback Dylan Bice put the Generals (1-9) on the board with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Trent Kinary at the start of the second quarter.
Bice had a mixed bag of results on the night as he passed for two touchdowns and was intercepted twice.
The Generals were able to close the gap to 21-14 with 6:36 left in the first half after quarterback Bice connected with Drew Sherrill on a 17-yard touchdown strike.
That was as close as Heritage could draw, though, as Bice was sacked in his own end zone by Omari Reeves-Miller for a safety at the 3:07 mark of the first half.
River Ridge made the Generals pay two plays later, as E.J. Ellis scampered 41 yards to push the Knights’ lead to a 30-14 halftime advantage.
Ellis played a major role in breaking the game open for River Ridge.
With Heritage driving late in the third quarter, Bice dropped back and tried to thread in a touchdown pass from the 5-yard line. Ellis intercepted the pass on the goal line and returned it 100 yards for the score, pushing the Knights to a 44-14 advantage with 1 minute remaining in the third quarter.
In spite of his team’s struggles, Heritage sophomore Andrew Chavez proved to be a bright spot as he rushed for 136 yards on 18 carries and caught four passes for 49 yards.