Riverside Bulldogs

(Oakland) -- KMAland A/1A/2A No. 3 Riverside is off to a flying start with a pair of wins over Red Oak and St. Albert. It marks the second straight season they’ve opened 2-0, but it’s been 17 years since their last 3-0 record.

The most recent win for the Bulldogs came this past Friday night in a wild 49-36 victory over St. Albert – the first win over the Falcons for the Riverside program in 20 years.

“I really believe we played pretty darn well,” Coach Darrell Frain said. “Special teams let us down a little bit, and we’ve got to improve on those quite a bit. For the most part, that’s what gave them most of their field position, and they had a return for a touchdown. We get those straightened out, and I’ll feel a lot better.”

While the special teams might be a worrisome item for Coach Frain, the offense is absolutely churning. Austin Kremkoski had 220 yards passing and 172 yards rushing while Rhett Bentley went for 225 yards and three touchdowns on the ground and another 45 on a touchdown reception. It was the second straight game the Bulldogs put up over 40 points and over 400 yards of total offense.

“We blocked a lot better (in week two),” Frain said. “I know St. Albert isn’t quite as physical as they have been in the past, but we blocked a lot better and got after it a lot better. That opened a lot more holes for us. The defensive line did well also, but the offensive line did the best for us.”

While the Bulldogs are plenty excited to be 2-0 overall and 1-0 in district play, there’s no time to rest on their laurels. A tough Class A District 7 meeting with Mount Ayr (1-1, 0-0) awaits on Friday evening.

“We faced (Mount Ayr head coach Ryan Victor) when he was at Missouri Valley, and he ran all over us,” Frain said. “They run a lot of the same things. They run a lot of power offense and will try to push us around up front. We’re going to have to step up a little bit this week. I’m a little bit worried about their front. They get after it.”

The Raiders were able to bounce back from an opening week loss to Nodaway Valley to take a thrilling 34-27 victory over Central Decatur this past Friday. Mount Ayr rushed for 200 yards, including 124 and two touchdowns from Adler Shay. Quarterback Jaixen Frost has also been impressive with 143 yards passing and a game-winning drive in week two.

“They’re going to cause a lot of problems,” Frain added. “With our numbers, you don’t get to see the speed and the power of it (during practice). We’re going to do the best we can. Probably a little half line with the best against the best to give us a look and hopefully we can adapt to it and stop it on Friday.”

While the offense has led two victories this season, Frain does not mince words in saying the defense is going to be paramount this week.

“(They) are going to have to step up and win it for us,” he said. “They have a lot more than just power. They run the option a little bit. Their quarterback is quick, and he really gets after it.”

Thad Streit will have reports from Mount Ayr/Riverside on Friday evening during the Red Oak Chrysler Football Connection Show. Listen to all of KMA Sports’ week three coverage on AM 960 and FM 99.1 from 6:20 to midnight.

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