SMYRNA- The Smyrna Bulldogs (2-2, 1-0) hand Riverdale (3-1, 0-0) its first loss of the season with a 27-17 upset over the visiting Warriors Friday night.
“I’m really proud of them (the Bulldogs),” Smyrna coach Matt Williams said. “After the first two weeks they were down, and we told them to shut out the noise and keep working hard and they’ve done that. They practiced well and came with a great attitude and it paid off tonight.”
The first half saw both defenses duking things out and Riverdale looked to take a 3-0 lead into halftime from a 22-yard field goal by Caleb Moore.
However, with 35 seconds to go Mikel Hartfield scored from nine yards out to give Smyrna a 6-3 halftime lead. Hartfield rushed for 110 yards in his first game back after an injury.
“It was my first game back and a lot of people said we were going to lose,” Hartfield said. “But we came out focused and played like a team. We had our young people step up big and they got the job done.
“Defense did what they had to do. (The O-line) came out with the juice and we ran with it and came out with the win.”
Hartfield then got to showcase his throwing ability when he connected with Josh Jones for a 24 yard touchdown strike to push the lead to 13-3.
“It was really a designed run for me,” Hartfield said. “But he (Jones) didn’t have anyone pull out with him and no one stayed in on me so I just threw it.”
Riverdale answered with a 90-yard drive capped by a Drew Smith touchdown. Smith carried the load for the Warriors with 186 total yards (156 on the ground) and two TD.
Smyrna freshman quarterback Landon Miller got to show off his arm with a 69-yard TD pass to Tyler Lansden to give the Bulldogs back a 10-point lead, 20-10.
Miller threw for 153 yards on the night, 125 of which were to Lansden.
After an interception and penalty the Bulldogs got the ball back on the Riverdale 1 yard line and Zereoue Johnson put the nail in the Warrior coffin with a touchdown and a 27-10 lead with 2 minutes in the game.
The Warriors scored once more as Jameson Holcomb connected with Smith on a three yard score with 19 seconds remaining to make the final 27-17.
Riverdale amassed over 100 yards in penalties, including four personal fouls and a block in the back that had a touchdown called back.
Both teams are at home next week in region action, with the Bulldogs hosting McGavock and the Warriors hosting Rockvale.