First wins as a head coach are always memorable. Such was the case Friday night for Riverside’s Alex Daugherty.
The Warriors put in complete team effort in shutting out St. Albans 43-0 on the road at Crawford Field on Friday night in the Dick Whitman Memorial Classic, improving to 1-3 on the season. The Red Dragons are now 1-4.
Whitman was the longtime coach at DuPont and Riverside high schools, where he won two state championships. He also was a four-sport standout athlete at St. Albans in the 1960s.
“I’m happy and it feels really good, it really does,” said Daughtery of his first win. “It absolutely makes it sweeter. Having a guy like that in our community was huge. My goal is to get back to the times of when Dick Whitman was coaching at DuPont and Riverside.
“It does mean a lot and is real special for me. I’ve heard great stories about him. Coach Tom Sowards coached with him and tells stories all the time. I wish I could have been a part of his coaching staff and learn from him.”
Junior running back Caden Eastering had a huge day for Riverside, rushing for 260 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Easterling had been held to 61 total yards in his first three games.
“Caden is a heck of a back,” Daughterty said. “We knew that coming into the season. Things have started to click. We play in the toughest conference in the state and it takes time in a new offense and scheme. The team bought in and it showed.”
“I felt great out there,” Easterling said. “There isn’t anything better than winning. The line showed out, the backs and receivers and quarterback. The line gave me good looks and I couldn’t do it without them. I’m proud of the team.”
Griffin Key added 83 yards on seven carries and two touchdowns, and Charlie Pierson also tallied 83 yards and a score on the ground on just three attempts for the Warriors. Riverside rushed for 459 yards on 32 carries.
“That feels great when we can spread the love,” Daugherty said. “We stress to the kids that it is a team effort. We aren’t going to succeed further if we don’t buy into that. That is what it is all about.”
Riverside took the opening possession of the game right down the field, marching 63 yards on just five plays, capping the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Javante Elzy to Blake Wentz for a 7-0 Warrior lead with 9:53 left in the first quarter.
On the third offensive possession, Easterling scored on a 24-yard touchdown run to give the Warriors a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter with 11:25 remaining. Riverside also scored on its next possession on a 60-yard touchdown run by Pierson and the successful two-point conversion gave the Warriors a 22-0 lead that they carried into the half.
The Warriors rolled up 247 yards rushing in the first half alone with Easterling with 123 yards rushing on nine carries and Pierson 83 yards on just three attempts.
In the third quarter, after a defensive stop, Riverside struck again quickly on a two-play drive culminating in a 58-yard touchdown by Easterling to give the Warriors a 29-0 lead with 8:36 left.
For Riverside, Key got in on the action, rushing for a 9-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and added a 40-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
St. Albans quarterback Caden McCoy rushed for 83 yards on 11 carries and also threw for 77 yards. However, the Red Dragons only rushed for 62 yards on 39 attempts as a team and committed 11 penalties for 110 yards. Riverside also had 95 yards on penalties.