WOODSTOCK — River Ridge struck early, fast and often, storming past visiting Osborne 43-0 on Friday.
It was the first win at River Ridge for Mike Collins, who came to coach the Knights after being the coach at Wheeler for nine seasons.
“In 22 years of doing this, one thing I’ve learned is it’s hard to win in this area, no matter where you are,” Collins said. “We’re going to enjoy tonight, enjoy tomorrow, and then we’ll take the good and bad we did, and hopefully be better next week.”
The Knights dominated on offense and defense, outgaining Osborne 355-33 in yardage. On defense, the Knights racked up 11 tackles for loss.
“I think what I liked most is we were able to get to the quarterback and that’s something we’ve had a hard time doing,” Collins said. “I thought we had them under duress pretty much the whole night.”
Coming off consecutive weeks where their offense was shut out, Knights’ running back Amehre Morrison broke loose for 80 yards to score on the first offensive play of the game. Morrison finished 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 12 carries.
“We really went into this game hoping something would go good for us early, I thought that’d be crucial for either team,” Collins said.
River Ridge didn’t let up, forcing a three and out on Osborne’s first offensive series. The Knights special teams blocked the following punt and junior Coen Liner picked up the loose ball and strolled into the end zone, giving the Knights a 13-0 lead less than 3 minutes into the game.
After their defense forced another three-and-out, the Knights offense continued their onslaught with an 11-play, 74-yard drive that quarterback Chase Begin finished with a 22-yard touchdown run to put the Knights up 21-0 after the first quarter.
River Ridge put in quarterback Daniel Fichtner for their first possession of the second quarter. The freshman responded with a dazzling 47-yard touchdown run that saw him cut from the middle of the field and dart up the sideline, outracing multiple Osborne defensive backs.
“We played Monday night, we played a JV game last night, it was a lot for one week. It was just a lot for our young men,” Osborne coach Russ Isham said.
After scoring 21 points in a loss versus Creekview in their rescheduled game Monday night, the Cardinals struggled to get anything going on offense.
“I don’t think we were ready for the speed of the game, we were a little shell-shocked maybe, I just didn’t have them ready today,” Isham said.