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FOOTBALL: Bucs fall to Milan on Military Appreciation Night (PHOTO)
Josh Smith (22) and the Riverview footblal team honored veterans on Military Appreciation Night Friday, but the defending Huron League champion Milan Big Reds spoiled the night with a 48-28 victory. Photo by Dave Chapman
Riverview began Friday night’s Huron League opener with a simple, sincere tribute to the men and women of the city who’ve served in the armed forces.
That’s about as far as the good memories went.
Visiting Milan scored the game’s first 20 points, turned it into a rout in the second half and left town with a 48-28 victory. All of the host Pirates’ four turnovers led to Big Reds touchdowns.
“In high school football, with 12-minute quarters, you can’t turn the ball over and expect to win,” Riverview Coach Jeff Stergalas said. “It’s that simple.”
Milan scored its first touchdown before the game was three minutes old and had a 20-0 lead by the end of the opening period. The Pirates seemed to turn things around early in the second when Josh Smith ended a long drive with a 5-yard touchdown run, then recovered a muffed kickoff reception to set themselves up deep in Milan territory.
The possession ended six plays later with Drew Kroll’s 8-yard scoring pass to Steve Pinkava. Austin Ostrowski added the point-after kick to make it 20-13, but that’s as close as the Bucs got.
Milan answered with a 64-yard touchdown run on the next play from scrimmage and went to intermission with a 34-20 lead after Smith scored on a 4-yard run in the final minute of the half.
The Big Reds scored touchdowns in the third and fourth periods and Riverview added its final scoring play in the last minute of the game when Ostrowski scored from 4 yards out and added the two-point conversion run.
The turnovers _ three fumbles and an interception _ were almost as bad as Riverview’s tackling.
“It’s almost like we reverted back to what we were doing wrong last year,” Stergalas said. “We just didn’t tackle well tonight.”
Tailback Marcus Samuels gained 94 yards on 17 carries and Smith added 59 on 18 tries. Kroll was 4-for-9 through the air for 50 yards.
Chris Arias added a fumble recovery.
Milan piled up 421 yards of offense, including 166 passing yards from quarterback Robert Kanitz (9 for 13). Gage Smith caught six passes for 155 yards and a touchdown while freshman tailback Trace Lindeman ran for 166 and two touchdowns on just 13 carries.
Shawn Beaton added two touchdown runs.
It was Military Appreciation Night at Riverview and the home team wore camouflage-pattern jerseys with the names of city residents who have served or currently do serve in the armed forces. American flags lined both sides of the bleachers and the marching band played the songs of all four branches of service before the game.
Riverview (1-1) resumes league play Friday night at Carleton Airport. It’s the first of three straight weekends away from home.
Last Updated: 9/7/2013 12:19:25 AM EST