Friday night was the final chance for Rutherford County football fans to get a glimpse of their favorite teams before the 2017 season begins.
With several jamborees taking place across the county, the Riverdale Warriors paid a visit to Stewarts Creek High School to play the hosting Red Hawks in the 2017 Multi-Level Jamboree. With both the freshmen and junior varsity teams also taking the field, it was the varsity teams who stole the show.
Stewarts Creek scored first, waking up the rain-soaked crowd and bringing life back into the stadium.
Riverdale responded with a scoring drive of its own, capped off by a Savion Davis touchdown run. Senior quarterback Christian Souffront looked solid, developing chemistry with fellow senior Shaun Morrow. The pair connected twice on Riverdale's second scoring drive, with Souffront running it in himself to give the Warriors a 14-7 lead.
"It's been Morrow, it's been Jared Campbell or Troy Hutson, who didn't play tonight," Riverdale coach Will Kriesky said, referencing which receiver might emerge as the top wideout for the Warriors. "Each guy has stepped up in each one of our scrimmages. But again, we're excited for those guys."
Senior safety T.K. Hughes helped keep the Riverdale lead from getting any larger. Hughes seemingly covered every inch of the secondary, recording five tackles and contributing on nearly every Red Hawks stop.
"T.K. has had a great fall," Stewarts Creek coach David Martin said. "He's done a really good job and he's obviously carried over what he's done in practice and everything to here."
Riverdale's lead held up until Stewarts Creek forced and recovered a fumble with 1:34 left. From there, junior running back Nathan Wright ripped off a 46-yard touchdown run to knot it up 14-14. That score would hold up, as both teams put a bow on their Week 1 dress rehearsal, with plenty of positives to take away.
"I liked our fight," Kriesky said. "They started with a touchdown right off the bat, but then our guys came in and we drove down twice and scored and that's what I like to see. The defense stepped up and played well after that.
"You know, we had two turnovers that really bothered me. But I liked the way our guys competed. Last year, we didn't finish a lot of games. We competed in a lot of them, but our motto this year is 'finish strong.' Every game, every play we have to finish strong. For a final tune-up, I like the way that things went."
"I thought we played with a lot of effort," Martin added. "We just have a few things we have to improve on and clean up as far as from a technical standpoint and doing the little things. I loved our effort, I loved our enthusiasm and that's something that has to fuel us and has to carry us.
"We want to be the very best team we can be and let nothing but talent limit these guys. If we can do that, we'll live with it. We should have a good year, we should build off last year and I think they will. We want these guys to keep improving and playing for each other."
Riverdale opens its season Friday at home against East Nashville, while Stewarts Creek will travel to Siegel. Both games start at 7 p.m.