Friday night saw a matchup between two teams looking to get to win number 3, as the River Ridge Wildcats played host to the Stockton Blackhawks, and both teams came into the game with matching 2-2 records. On paper, and in predictions, there was no love for River Ridge, and that set the tone for the game as you could see the Cats were very focused, and more relaxed coming into this years contest.
Stockton would open the game to receive the ball, and methodically drove the field 80 yards in 8:27 as they went on the back of Colin Dvorak, who carried the ball 13 times on the first series of the game, and capitalized on a 1 yard dive for the score. A Hunter Hillie 2 point conversion would give the Hawks an early 8-0 lead.
It didn't take long for River Ridge to respond, however, as their first drive took 1:23 and covered 59 yards. Behind the arm of Jacob Speer, he found Nick Parr for 23 yards, then Wyatt Potter for 15 yards, and connected with Joe Diaz from 20 yards out for the score. The Cats would tie the score with the 2 point conversion with 2:07 left in the 1st quarter.
Late in the 2nd quarter, the Blackhawks started moving the ball again, with more consistent runs behind Colin Dvorak. With under a minute left in the half, Garrett Buske found Drake Oppold in the end zone from 7 yards out. This time the conversion failed, but the Hawks had the lead 14-8 with 35 seconds left in the half.
Beginning their drive from their own 37, River Ridge would get a big run from Kam Kiley to get into Blackhawk territory at the 27 yard line. A quick pass to Joe Diaz gained another 10 yards, then setting up at the Blackhawk 16 yard line with 3 seconds left, Speer found Drew Kloss across the middle of the end zone for the score. The 2 point try failed, and the score was tied at 14 heading to the half.
The second half would be much quicker, with less scoring, as both teams traded possessions, but River Ridge would have a chance to take the lead late in the 3rd quarter, driving 62 yards to the Stockton 3 yard line. Facing a 4th and goal from the 3, Speer dropped back and saw Potter 4 yards deep in the end zone, but Potter couldn't corral it in, and the Cats were turned away.
Neither team was able to consistently move the ball after that point, until midway through the 4th quarter when Stockton was able to get the ball moving starting with good field position at the River Ridge 41. It only took 2 minutes and 17 seconds, but Dvorak would find the end zone again, this time from 1 yard out. Once the 2 point conversion was good, Stockton had the lead 22-14 with 4:16 left in the game.
The Wildcats would put up a final drive that started at their own 28 yard line. This drive would die out at the Blackhawk 25 yard line, as Speer would find Potter, Kiley, and Kloss to move the ball into Stockton territory, but a 4th down pass to the end zone was incomplete, and the Blackhawks took to victory formation to end the game with a 20-14 win.
Stockton would put up 237 yards of offense on the day, led by Colin Dvorak who had 198 yards on 35 carries with 2 TD's.
River Ridge countered that with 287 yards on offense, led by Jacob Speer who went 15-33 for 192 yards and 2 TD's. Joe Diaz had a game high 77 yards receiving on 3 receptions. Kam Kiley led the Wildcat rushing attack with 53 yards on 7 carries.
Stockton (3-2) vs AFC (0-5)
River Ridge (2-3) vs Polo (4-1)