Riverchase Middle extends perfect conference record

From Staff Reports

The Riverchase Middle School football team improved to 4-0 in conference play recently with wins over Columbiana Middle School and Briarwood Christian Middle, and is looking to capture a conference championship.

On Sept. 23, the Panthers rolled over Columbiana 37-0, and held the Wildcats to only 30 total yards during the game.

Riverchase defensive leaders in the game were Sam Finnerty, Desmond Kersh and Kem Muruako. The Panthers’ offense took advantage of aggressive blocking from linemen Nathan Walsh, Cory Dodson, Austin Barclay, Josh Woodard, and Spencer Wilson.

Riverchase’s John Taylor recorded two rushing touchdowns in the victory, and Chase Shearer and Paul Christian Benton each caught one touchdown pass each. Panther quarterback Hunter Stovall recorded the final rushing touchdown of the game.

Mason Whitman recorded several catches and runs to help the Panthers move down the field, and kicker Austin Bowen connected on all of his point-after attempts of the night.

On Sept. 30, the Panthers downed the Briarwood Christian Middle Lions 34-6 to improve to 5-1 overall and 4-0 in conference play.

Finnerty returned the game’s opening kickoff for a touchdown to put the Panthers up 6-0.

On the Lions’ first series of the game, Riverchase’s Stephen Thompson picked off Briarwood at the 1-yard line, setting up a 40-yard touchdown run by Stovall.

Jeremy Ross again intercepted a Lion pass on the 1-yard line on Briarwood’s next possession, but the Panthers were unable to capitalize on the turnover.

Briarwood then answered on its next possession, scoring a touchdown to bring the game to 13-6 at halftime.

In the third quarter, a botched Briarwood punt attempt set the Panthers up at the Lions’ 1-yard line, setting up a Stovall touchdown run.

On the next series, Finnerty picked off a Briarwood pass and ran it in 50 yards to put the Panthers up 27-6.

Following a run by Taylor Petty, Riverchase added its final touchdown of the night on a 20-yard Stovall run.

Defensive leaders during the game were Finnerty, Thompson and Kersh, who helped shut out the Lions in the second half. Ross recorded one interception in the second half and Bowen recovered a Briarwood fumble.

Riverchase’s next game is against John Carrol Middle School, which is also undefeated in the conference.