One week after their own drubbing, the Eminence Warriors turned the tables and routed the Riverview (Ohio) Eagles, 50-6.
Initially, it looked like it would be a long night for the Warriors. They took the opening kickoff and started their first series at their own 38-yard line. Three plays later the Warriors punted from their own 27, after losing 11 yards on three plays.
The Hawks then marched downfield with bruising inside runs and one long quarterback keeper that got the ball to the Warriors 4-yard line. Two plays later the Hawks punched it in to go up 6-0 with 5:09 left in the opening quarter. They would not score again.
But the Warriors were determined not to have a repeat of the previous game and immediately answered with a 42-yard run by quarterback Justin Mitchell in which the junior ran from sideline to sideline to score.
Two passes set up the play – a 10-yarder to Trevor Payton and a 20-yarder to Jalen Dixie. Mitchell completed the 2-point conversion pass to Hayden Hoofman to put the Warriors up 8-6 with 3:17 left in the first quarter.
“After that first series we really settled down and played our best defense of the season,” coach Steve Fommeyer said. “Our tackling was better and we attacked the line of scrimmage much better. Our mental approach was so much better this week. We didn’t let that first series bother us.”
On the first play of their next series the Hawks fumbled and Dixie recovered the ball on the 24-yard line giving the Warriors excellent field position. DeMarcus Bailey ran the ball to the 3-yard line on second-and-10 and then scored to make it 14-6 with 2:44 left in the period.
On the ensuing kickoff, Riverview fumbled the ball away, giving the Warriors possession deep in Hawks territory… again.
Mitchell hit Payton with a 14-yard pass to give the Warriors a first and goal from the 9-yard line. Mitchell hit Dixie for eight yards and then Shelby Armstrong ran it in from the 1-yard line to make it 20-6. Hoofman ran in the two-point conversion to give the Warriors a 16-point lead going into the second quarter.
It was more of the same in the second quarter as the Warriors added 20 more points to make it 42-0 and the clock ran continuously for the rest of the game. The Warriors added a touchdown and two-point conversion in the third quarter as the team’s younger players saw varsity action.
Four different Warriors scored touchdowns in the game. Armstrong scored three times, Bailey twice and Mitchell and Hoofman once each. Hoofman also had two two-point conversions and Cameron Mathis and John Walker each had one.
Frommeyer was pleased that the team turned it around and pointed to injuries as an issue with the slow start.
“It’s a small-school dilemma,” he said. “We aren’t able to get up to game speed in practice. Even with our better numbers out this year, many of those kids are young. We had five already out for the season and two that could not go this week. It makes it tough in practice to get up to game speed. Unfortunately, we got bad news this week that two seniors, Mitchell Golden and Cornelius Sanford are out for the season. I hate it for those two young men. They are outstanding kids and I really feel for them.”
But Frommeyer was pleased that the team adjusted as the game went along.
“We stayed positive and bounced back and got a win,” he said. “Trevor Payton had a great game with four catches and a beautiful interception. He really had to step up and help out on defense this week. Lineman Corey Roberts had his best game of the year and Tyrei Hanlon had to move to linebacker because of injuries and did nice job in a position he’s not used to.”