Monday, September 27, 2010
Simmons raids Riverside, 50-18
AVON — In an earlier interview, Simmons High football coach Carlos Thompson said it was unusual for the Blue Devils to sustain two losses early in the season.
In their last game before district play Friday night, Simmons players made sure they wouldn’t get a third one.
Thanks to 327 passing yards and five touchdowns from quarterback Debrille Grant, Simmons (4-2) showed why beating the Blue Devils is a tough task after defeating county rival Riverside 50-18.
“A win is always good, because it builds momentum going into your next game,” said Thompson.
The final score, however, can be a little misleading, as the Riverside Bulldogs (2-3) stuck close to the Blue Devils until late in the game. Riverside even cut the lead to 36-18 in the third quarter after a 30-yard touchdown scamper by Marquel Richardson.
But that would prove to be Riverside’s final touchdown, as Simmons pulled away by scoring once in third quarter and again in the fourth.
Both teams lost several fumbles, and Riverside had a couple chances to turn the tide but they just couldn’t get over the hump.
“The kids fought hard. They fought till the end,” said RHS coach Warren West. “But we gave up two or three touchdown passes....We’re not a good enough team to give away two or three touchdowns, especially to a team like Simmons.”
RHS was, however, the first to put points on the board, after Lorenzo Johnson returned the game-opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown.
However, Simmons senior receiver Miekell Gray, who had three catches for 125 yards and three touchdowns on the night, answered quickly with a 59-yard touchdown reception from Grant.
Following a Simmons fumble and a couple Riverside punts, Fredy Cosey gave Simmons six more points after catching a 61-yard bomb from Grant. Damian Samuels converted the two-point conversion to give the Blue Devils a 14-6 lead in the first quarter.
It would be midway through the second quarter before Gray struck again when he caught a 51-yard touchdown reception on the first play from scrimmage.
RHS then cut it to an 8-point lead, 20-12, with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter after Johnson ran in a touchdown from two yards out.
Less than 30 seconds, however, was enough for Grey to strike for the third time in the first half. After a 32-yard catch by Archie Dennard, Grey caught a 17-yard pass to widen the lead. Roderick Richardson converted the 2-point conversion to send the Bulldogs into the locker room down 28-12.
Thompson said he was proud of Gray’s performance.
“He didn’t do anything to hurt us. He really stepped up tonight,” he said.
If the first half belonged to Gray, the second half was all Cosey’s. The shifty receiver/running back had two rushing touchdowns (20, 21 yards) in the second half to extend the lead. Rashuun Alexander also caught a 15-yard touchdown.
Marquel Richardson scored Riverside’s final touchdown in the third quarter when he ran in from 30 yards out.
Despite the 50 points on the scoreboard, Thompson said his team still needs to improve in certain areas, but “a pretty win is better than a ugly loss.”
Simmons will be at home this Friday hosting West Tallahatchie. Meanwhile, Riverside will host Marshall. Both games will kickoff at 7 p.m.