Prep Impressions: Sept. 11, 2021

RIVERSIDE – The Riverside Poly vs. Riverside King varsity football game on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, was a good night in the history of the 15-year rivalry. The stadium was packed, the announcer was hyped, the vendors were out in force, and if not for the second quarter it was a competitive game.

For Riverside Poly, it was not their best night on a football field. The Bears missed a golden opportunity in the first quarter committed way too many turnovers to be in the game for very long, and at one point had three consecutive possessions end in an interception. Using senior QB Michael Luna out of the Wildcat formation may work against some teams but it wasn’t working against even the leanest of beefy Big VIII League defenses.

Riverside Poly head coach John Rice: “We played a horrible game in every way we could. We made mistakes on offense, we made mistakes on defense that lay squarely on my shoulders. We will correct it and we will get better. We’re going to have a successful season. We’re going to play at least seven more games. We’re going to be in the playoffs and have a good run. The best part about this game is that it’s over. I have to do a better job. We have zero excuses. Zero excuses. We laid an egg and that’s my fault. I’m the head coach and my job is to make sure that they’re ready mentally and physically, and we were not ready mentally and that’s my fault, and I have to do a better job. I’ve been coaching long enough to make that happen and I didn’t, so I failed them and I have to do a better job. We practiced well (but) we have to do a better job of motivating kids internally. We have to contribute to the internal motivation – you can’t just make speeches and have them get fired up – we have to find ways to snap them out of setbacks. You have to face adversity and help them get out of adversity. We had some adversity early in the game and we didn’t come back from that. To me, that’s on me to get them to get our of that and snap out of it and fight back, and we didn’t do that and it was a spiral.”

For Riverside King, the kicking game is definitely working. Senior K Evan Milstead celebrated like a soccer player after hitting two medium-range field goals and going 4 of 4 on PATs for the Wolves, who escaped trouble in the first quarter to run away with the game in the second quarter with three touchdowns on three consecutive possessions. It’s the kind of offensive efficiency this team will need from freshman QB Noah Haros if it has a chance of scraping out respectable score lines the rest of the season.

Riverside King head coach Jason McMains: “From Day 1 we’ve been here (Haros) has won the job. He’s showed that he’s the starter. Just how well he picked up our offense right away, and the throws he makes, you can tell he’s got what it takes. He’s a special kid. He’s a piece we can definitely build on and that’s something that we’re excited about. There’s always things that we want to get better at and we haven’t much time with these guys, and just to see the progression, and now it’s about how much better we can get. That’s the exciting part.”

Riverside Poly – 0 – 0 – 7 – 0 — 7
Riverside King – 3 – 21 – 10 – 0 — 34
First quarter

K – Milstead 26 FG, 6:31
Second quarter
K – Schnakenberg 32 pass from Haros (Milstead kick), 8:12
K – Neal 1 run (Milstead kick), 5:24
K – Hoover 55 pass from Haros (MIlstead kick), 0:58
Third quarter
K – Milstead 32 FG, 10:46
K – Crouch 5 run (Milstead kick), 5:46
P – Brown 30 pass from Luna (Degeneffe kick), 2:01
Fourth quarter
Team statistics
Total plays
– Riverside Poly 50; Riverside King 50.
First downs
– Riverside Poly 12; Riverside King 10.
Penalties – Riverside Poly 4-50; Riverside King 17-167.
Turnovers – Riverside Poly 5; Riverside King 1.
Individual statistics
– Riverside Poly: Luna 13-18, Henderson 5-17, Morales 4-13, Fuentez 2-1, Cloake 1-(minus-7); Riverside King: Neal 10-67, Leyva 6-36, Crouch 3-11, McPherson 1-(minus-1), Rocha 1-(minus-2), Haros 2-(minus-8).
Passing – Riverside Poly: Luna 9-19-3-63, Cloake 0-1-1-0; Riverside King: Haros 13-21-0-231, Rocha 1-1-0-6.
Receiving – Riverside Poly: Brown 6-41, Kirby 1-12, Sanchez 1-8, Rice 1-2; Riverside King: Schnakenberg 2-68, Hoover 2-64, Smiley-Rojas 7-60, Ford 1-17, McPherson 2-9, Crouch 1-8, Mosley 1-6, Neal 1-5.
Interceptions – Riverside Poly: None; Riverside King: Schnakenberg 2-6, Simmons 1-24, Smiley-Flores 1-6.

Riverside King head coach Jason McMains (back to camera) holds ‘The Propeller’, given annually to the winner of the King-Poly football game.


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