Balanced running game keys Dragons 31-7 win over Raiders
By JIM WALKER
Tribune Sports Editor
PROCTORVILLE — The scales of justice have nothing on the Fairland Dragons.
With a virtual equal share of carries in the running game, the Dragons rolled up 328 yards on the ground en route to a 31-7 Ohio Valley Conference win over the River Valley Raiders on Friday.
Eric Riley led the ground game with 13 carries for 108 yards, Nathan Campbell had 14 tries for 90 yards, Evan Maddox ran 12 times for 69 yards and Tyree Ceasar lugged the ball nine times for 20 yards.
“That’s pretty good. We had good balance,” said Fairland coach Dave Carroll.
“Since we got Maddox back we want to keep all of them fresh. We can move them all around and it makes it hard for teams to prepare for one guy at one position. They all have strength where they can run.”
River Valley (1-5, 0-1) had just 45 net yards rushing and quarterback Austin Whobrey was 9 of 19 for 120 yards and an interception.
“We played pretty well on both sides of the ball. We changed things up a little this week. (Assistant coach) Jeff (Gorby) did a good job of mixing up our coverages,” said Carroll.
Fairland wasted little time by driving 65 yards in seven plays on their first possession capped by Campbell’s 14-yard run and it was 7-0.
The Dragons went on a 75-yard, 9-play march on their next series that ended on a 1-yard run by Maddox. Riley ran for the conversion and it was 15-0.
Riley recovered a fumble at the Raiders’ 48-yard line in the third quarter and four plays later he ran one yard for the touchdown and it was 22-0.
River Valley answered with a 63-yard drive in just four plays to get within 22-7. Austin Whobrey hit Ethan Dovenbarger with an 18-yard TD pass at the 4:16 mark.
Fairland opened up some breathing room with a 73-yard march in seven plays that culminated on Campbell’s 4-yard run.
The final score came when Dustin Barton tackled a Raider in the end zone for a safety with just 48 seconds left.
Fairland (2-4, 1-0) visits South Point this Friday while River Valley hosts Chesapeake.
River Valley 0 0 7 0 = 7
Fairland 15 0 7 9 = 31
Fa – Nathan Campbell 14 run (Cody Midkiff kick) 9:38
Fa – Evan Maddox 21 run (Eric Riley run) 0:32
Fa – Eric Riley 1 run (Cody Midkiff kick) 5:29
RV – Ethan Dovenbarger 18 pass from Austin Whobrey (Jacob Leach kick) 4:16
Fa – Nathan Campbell 4 run (Cody Midkiff kick) 9:23
Fa – Safety (Dustin Barton tackle runner in end zone) 0:48
First downs 8 21
Rushes-yards 32-45 55-328
Passing yards 120 63
Total yards 165 391
Cmp-Att-Int 9-19-1 3-8-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-30 7-65
Punts-average NA 3-33.0
RUSHING–River Valley: Patrick Williams 18-41, Austin Whobrey 10-19, Trey Noble 1-18, Jacob Leach 1-minus 25, James Williams 1-minus 6, Burnie Stanley 1-minus 2; Fairland: Eric Riley 13-108, Evan Maddox 12-69, Nathan Campbell 14-90, Tyree Ceasar 9-20, Kyle Sowards 5-30, Dylan Murphy 1-9, Jaylen Brooks 1-2.
PASSING–River Valley: Austin Whobrey 9-19-1 120; Fairland: Kyle Sowards 3-8-0 63
RECEIVING–River Valley: Ethan Dovenbarger 4-78, Trey Noble 2-26, Patrick Williams 3-16; Fairland: Eric Riley 2-19, Blaine Fuller 1-44.