Nick Asturi rushed for 83 yards on five carries, caught three passes for 43 yards, and scored twice, to lead the River Pilots to a 41-7 Homecoming victory Oct. 5 over the Bridgeport Bulldogs. Asturi also contributed 10 tackles, including three for lost yardage.
Asturi got the ball rolling with a 28-yard TD scamper in the first period for a River Pilot 6-0 lead. Jordan Sapp took his turn in the scoring column with a one-yard plunge to cap off an impressive drive.
In the second period, the Bulldogs got on the board on a 71-yard run, but the Pilots would reply with a 21-yard Asturi touchdown. Bryce Cross hauled in a 12-yard touchdown pass to put the game out of reach at the break by the score of 27-7.
During halftime festivities, Myla Smith was crowned the River High School's Homecoming Queen, while Thomas Tharp was named the Homecoming King.
When play resumed, neither team scored in the third period. However, the Pilots added a Sapp 48-yard TD run and a one-yard plunge by Jonathan Stewart to end the Pilot scoring. Colton Wright came through with true PAT kicks.
Other than the long 71-yard TD scamper, and a 63-yard quarterback run, the Pilot defense held the Bulldogs to 30 yards on the ground, zero passing yards on five tries, and gave up only five first downs - led by Asturi's defensive effort.
Brett Rosen was just as active, dropping a dozen Bulldog ball carriers, with three of the tackles going for loss of yardage. Rosen also thrice sacked the Bulldog quarterback.
D. J. Dotson made 10 tackles, with three of them in the Bulldog backfield. Cross made eight tackles, while Stewart led the Pilot defense with five solo tackles, 11 assists, and three tackles for losses of real estate.
The River Pilot offense was balanced with 140 yards coming from the air and 204 yards on the ground. Caldwell hit five different receivers, with Kameron Brown hauling in five passes for 65 yards, while Asturi nabbed three Caldwell passes for 43 yards.
Cross snatched two passes for 22 yards, while Dallas Necessary and Garth Richter each caught one pass for five yards. Sapp paced the ground game with 86 yards, while Asturi added 83 yards. Stewart galloped for 20 yards, while Bailey Reusser gained 15 yards for the Pilots. Brown, Brandon Carpenter, Loren Thomas, and Joey Flannery each had one carry in the game.
With the win, River improves to 4-3 on the season and could make the playoffs if they win out, starting with Shenandoah on Friday at 7 p.m. at Alumni Field.