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Big third quarter launches Riverview past Garden City PHOTO GALLERY

  • Riverview quarterback Drew Kroll hands off to Eric Gant during the Pirates' 41-15 victory against Garden City in Week 1. Photo Gallery by Terry Jacoby
  • Riverview opened the 2014 football season with an easy win at Garden City. Photos by Terry Jacoby
It didn't start out well for the Pirates on Friday night but it ended in the win column as Riverview scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to break open a close game with host Garden City in a 2014 opener for both schools.

The Pirates were called for a penalty on the opening kickoff even before the ball was kicked. And despite the Cougars scoring first, the Bucs were able to regroup and cruise to a 41-15 win on a perfect night for football in Garden City. “We had some jitters early on and we have a lot of young players so that’s expected,” said Riverview Coach Derek McLaughlin. “But overall it was a good start for us.”

After five years as head coach at Southgate Anderson, McLaughlin took over the Pirates this season. A big win certainly is a good start. But it’s only a start.

“We have a lot of things to fix,” said McLaughlin, whose team hits the road again on Friday at Milan. “We didn’t execute very well. We have to tackle better. We have to play better.”

The good news is McLaughlin saw plenty of firepower on offense.

“Yeah, we have some talent but we are still exploring how it’s all going to play out,” he said. “We need to find out who is going to be consistent each week.”

Garden City scored on its first drive of the new season after converting a fourth and four at the Riverview 20-yard line. A few plays after the big conversion they took it to the house for a 7-0 lead.

The Pirates were forced to punt on their first possession but Garden City muffed the kick and the Pirates' Charlie Chevillet jumped on the ball. Riverview got the ball inside the 10-yard line but a personal-foul penalty pushed them back and they turned the ball over on downs.

After a Garden City punt, the Pirates took over on the Cougars' 30-yard line. A 13-yard run by Tyler Chase took the ball to the 1-yard line and the junior took it in the end zone on the next play. The extra point by Austin Ostrowski was good and the game was tied at 7-7 with 51 seconds left in the first quarter.

With 2:53 to play in the second quarter, Riverview QB Drew Kroll threw an out pass to Nikolas Frasier. The senior grabbed the ball along the sideline, made a nice move and then raced all the way to the end zone to make it 13-7 with 2:53 left until halftime. The extra point was no good.

The Pirates got the ball to start the second half and two outstanding runs by Kroll got Riverview headed in the right direction. A personal-foul call on Garden City after his second long run set the Pirates up inside the 5-yard line.

Eric Gant went up the middle and into the end zone for the touchdown. Kroll kept the ball on the two-point conversion to give the visitors a 21-7 lead with 8:27 left in the third quarter.

Kroll then threw a pass to Nolan Glime, who made a great move that faked out not one but two defenders. The senior raced 12 yards to give Riverview a 28-7 lead.

Gant scored his second touchdown of the game with 1:02 left in the third quarter to give the Pirates a commanding 35-7 lead.

Kroll made it 41-7 on a 20-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Garden City scored in the fourth quarter on a 32-yard pass play to make it 41-15.

Last Updated: 8/30/2014 1:09:51 AM EST

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