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David Archer (33) and the Riverview Pirates were knocked off 56-49 Friday night at Monore SMCC. Photo by Larry Caruso


FOOTBALL: SMCC outruns Riverview in high-scoring battle (PHOTO/TOUT VIDEO)

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Two high-powered rushing offenses collided Friday night in Monroe and when it was all said and done Riverview was handed a 56-49 defeat by SMCC.

In what was a back-and-forth affair, the Pirates (5-2, 4-2 Huron League) and Falcons (6-1, 5-1) combined for 11 rushing touchdowns and more than 900 yards on the ground.

In a 2012 battle, the two teams also combined for more than 100 points in what was a 61-42 Falcons’ win.

“Last year we had the same thing,” said Riverview Coach Jeff Stergalas. “It became a track meet and we’re not good at shoot outs and if you don’t play defense you can’t win.”

SMCC wasted no time getting on the board, as Justin Carrabino took off for a 68-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game. Todd Jones hit the extra point and the Falcons went up 7-0.

Less than a minute later Riverview’s Josh Smith answered with a 66-yard run to the end zone. Matt Bacon drilled the extra point and tied the game. For the night Smith had 20 carries for 203 yards and two rushing touchdowns, giving him 17 for the season.

The Falcons hit back about one minute later and John Lako ran in a 17-yard touchdown. Lako finished with 25 carries for 145 yards and two rushing touchdowns.

Smith, who also played defense Friday night for Riverview, said his team anticipated SMCC would bring a brutal rushing attack, but he said the Pirates had hoped to be able to keep things under control.

“We expected that, but we thought we could stop it,” he said of SMCC’s ground game. “We tried our best; they came out and beat us. We hoped it would be low scoring instead of that many points. Our defense shouldn’t have allowed that.”

To grab a two-score lead, SMCC’s Josh Czarniowski ran in a touchdown at the 3:19 mark of the first quarter and his team went up 22-7 after a botched PAT turned into a Falcons’ two-point conversion. Czarniowski had 18 carries for 195 yards and two rushing touchdowns for the night.

Inside the final minute of the quarter, Riverview’s Marcus Samuels took off for a 49-yard touchdown run and cut the deficit to 22-14. Samuels finished with 11 carries for 159 yards and three touchdowns.

Halfway through the second quarter, Carrabino added to the Falcons’ lead with a touchdown run and SMCC went up 28-14 after a missed extra point.

At 4:48 of the second quarter, the Pirates opted to go to the air and quarterback Drew Kroll hit Smith with a 65-yard scoring strike. After another Bacon PAT, the score was 28-21 and would stay that way until the end of the second half.

Riverview kicked off a third quarter full of fireworks, which included six total touchdowns, with a 49-yard run by Samuels to the end zone just 21 seconds in, which tied the game.

Only 10 seconds later, however, Czarniowski gave the Falcons the lead back with an 80-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage.

Samuels got into the act again two minutes later and spun out of tackles on his way to a 34-yard touchdown run to tie the game 35-35.

SMCC surprised the Pirates about four minutes later with a rare pass. Unfortunately for the locals, the ball went for a 20-yard touchdown strike to Czarniowski, from quarterback Bryce Windham.

Carrabino gave the Falcons a two-score advantage at the 2:51 mark of the quarter with a 51-yard touchdown scamper. The PAT was missed and the home team went up 48-35.

With less than a minute to go in the quarter, Riverview cut into the deficit when Smith plowed into the end zone from nine yards out, which made it a 48-42 game.

The six-point advantage held for the Falcons through the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter, as neither team got on the board.

At the 1:28 mark of the final quarter, SMCC added more points after a drive deep into the Pirates’ zone was capped by a touchdown, which gave the Falcons a 56-42 lead.

Despite the late two-score deficit, Riverview was able to make the final minute interesting.

Two big completions by Kroll to Nolan Glime and Chris Arias, coupled with a pass interference penalty on SMCC, set up a 17-yard touchdown pass from Kroll to Glime with 22 seconds remaining.

Down 56-49, the Pirates attempted an onside kick, but were unable to recover the ball and SMCC walked off with the victory.

With the win, which was the Falcons’ sixth, the team clinched a spot in the postseason.

Riverview, however, will have to try again next week in a battle with Grosse Ile at home.

Last Updated: 10/12/2013 3:37:47 AM EST