SANDY SPRINGS — Riverwood took advantage of a pick-6 on the opening series and a dominant defense to beat Kennesaw Mountain 14-6 on Friday.
Though they fell to 0-2 on the season, the young Mustangs have a lot of time to improve before Region 3AAAAAAA play begins Oct. 11.
“Our defense played lights-out tonight,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Caleb Carmean said. “I’m extremely proud of the jump they made from Week 1 to Week 2.”
The offense, however, was a different story, totaling just 14 yards through the air and tossing three interceptions. The Mustangs, who replaced 10 starters from last year’s unit, played two quarterbacks.
“We brought in a freshman quarterback, Cayman Prangley, who did pretty well as a 14-year-old freshman,” Carmean said. “He did a good job. He’s got a lot of potential. He’s just going to keep getting reps, and it’s a competition. We compete in everything we do every single day. Our quarterback competition is wide-open.”
Prangley scored the Mustangs’ lone touchdown on an 11-yard run with 6:26 left in the third quarter. He ran for 8 yards on the night, while starting quarterback Luke Staggs passed for 20 yards.
Freshman running back Tyshon Jenkins totaled 50 yards on 16 carries to lead Kennesaw Mountain.
On the game’s opening drive, Georgia Tech commit Kyle Kennard intercepted Staggs and returned it 18 yards for the game’s opening score. The Riverwood defensive end picked off what looked to be a screen pass and trotted in untouched.
There were no more points in the first half.
Kennesaw Mountain drew within one after Prangley’s score, but it missed the extra point as the holder could not handle the snap and the kick failed to clear the crossbar.
In the final quarter, Riverwood (3-0) increased its lead to 14-10 on a 31-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Burk Cigelski to freshman running back Quinterio Lawson with 10:22 left.
Lawson ended the game with 127 rushing yards in addition to the receiving score.
Riverwood coach Robert Edwards, the former running back at Georgia and with the NFL’s New England Patriots, admitted his team had a tough go of it Friday after two easy wins.
“It was a tough one,” Edwards said. “The past two games, we’ve scored 40-plus points, but tonight was a grinder.”
After a 48-13 loss to Paulding County in its opener, Kennesaw Mountain showed improvement in holding Riverwood to one offensive touchdown.
“We’ve still got a long way to go to get ready for our region,” Carmean said. “It’s a powerhouse, and we’re excited to go compete, but we’ve got to keep making steps forward on offense, defense and special teams.”
The Mustangs committed six penalties for 45 yards.