With four turnovers among its many miscues, Sprayberry (1-5, 0-1) was simply not able to overcome a disastrous first half in which it trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter and 35-10 at halftime.
“It’s real simple,” Sprayberry coach Billy Shackelford said. “Over the course of the game, we counted 37 missed tackles, penalties, dropped balls, busted assignments and turnovers — 37. I don’t care if you’re playing a Pop Warner football team, the Riverwood Raiders, the Georgia Bulldogs or the Atlanta Falcons. If you have those kinds of miscues, that little attention to detail, you’re not going to be successful. We’re not playing like a very good football team and that’s disappointing.”
Riverwood scored on the opening offensive series of the game as Khai Anderson capped off a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run and Skyler deGroot kicked the extra point with 7:27 remaining in the first quarter to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead.
Sprayberry fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Riverwood recovered the ball at the Yellow Jackets 21-yard line with 7:19 left in the first quarter.
After back-to-back penalties by Sprayberry — the first one a pass interference call and the second a personal foul on a late hit — moved Riverwood to the Yellow Jackets 1, quarterback Grant Drakeford scored to increase the Raider advantage to 14-0.
Riverwood got its next opportunity to score when it forced Sprayberry to punt from its own 3-yard line and proceeded to take over at the Yellow Jackets 42 early in the second quarter.
It took only six plays for the Raiders to take advantage as Drakeford finished the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run to make it 21-0 with 9:57 left in the first half.
Rodrigo Blankenship got Sprayberry on the scoreboard on the next series as he kicked a 32-yard field goal to help the Yellow Jackets cut their deficit to 21-3.
However, Riverwood struck back in the ensuing series as Marcus Rosser scored on a 64-yard run with 3:48 left to push the Raiders’ advantage back up to 28-3.
It was Sprayberry that took advantage of Riverwood mistakes on the next series as the Yellow Jackets used three consecutive penalties to move deep into Raiders territory, and then scored on a 19-yard run by Rakeem Myricks to close the gap to 28-10.
But, the Raiders came back again as Drakeford threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Anderson with 35 seconds left to make it 35-10.
Riverwood struck on the opening series of the second half as Logan Blackley’s 23-yard scoring run increased the Raiders’ advantage to 42-10.
Myricks’ 4-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter would close the gap at the end for Sprayberry.
“Our focus all week in practice was to start fast — we didn’t feel like we did that in the last three weeks,” Riverwood coach Robert Ingram said. “We wanted to come out and play our type of football, real fast, and we did. It was a good win.”