Backups take center stage in Riverdale-Blackman jamboree

Blackman’s Isreal Celestine takes down Riverdale’s Bryce Russell in the backfield for a loss of yards. ETHAN SCOTT

The Blackman and Riverdale football programs met Thursday night at Tomahawk Stadium for a multi-level jamboree that featured varsity, freshman and youth league teams competing.

Each contest was two, 15-minute quarters with a running clock. The varsity squads kicked things off and the Warriors were able successfully defend their home field with a 21-7 win.

“Really our goal (in a jamboree) is the little things that you never get enough time to work on,” Riverdale coach Will Kriesky said. “Making sure the headsets and sideline video is working, making sure the kids are payng attention on special teams, coaches have to get ready. We have to get used to officials and staying back on the sidelines. The little things you can’t practice in scrimmages and regular practice.

Neither team played much in terms of starters so it was an opportunity for the younger players to get some on-field experience.

“We’ve got a big sophomore class so we played a lot of young guys,” Kriesky said. “Elijah Herring did a great job, Marcus Lloyd and Brayden Woodruff came in and ran the ball well, so the sophomores got a lot of work. Jameson Holcomb ran the offense smooth and well and did a great job.

“Those guys haven’t got tremendous reps in these past scrimmages so it was an opportunity to play two quarters and they made the most of it. We have to make sure they are ready when their number is called on Friday night.”

The Warriors were very effective on the ground, scoring twice on big runs. The first was the game’s first, a 90-yard sideline sprint by Jacorian Currie. The next was a 46-yarder for Lloyd.

On Riverdale’s final possession they opened up the passing game a bit, and the drive was capped by a 30 yard touchdown pass from Holcomb to Mack Yancey.

Blackman was stymied on three of four drives, but were able to put together one scoring drive with a 25 yard touchdown pass from Nick Effler to Jaedon Wiggins.

Both teams open the regular season at home next week, with Riverdale hosting Clarksville Northeast Friday night and Saturday Blackman welcomes Alcoa to town.

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