River Pilots Remain Unblemished
The River Pilots lost three fumbles on their first three drives, and were down 15 points in the opening period, but turned things around to defeat the Toronto Red Knights, 38-31 Oct. 14 at Clarke Hinkle Stadium.
Before you could whistle Dixie, the Pilots were down 15 points, but when you have the likes of a Lukas Isaly on your team, anything is possible.
The Pilots outstanding multi -port standout, accumulated 411 of the Pilots’ 490 yards with 35 rushes for a game-high 247 yards and three touchdowns, while completing 5-6 passes for 164 yards to lead the Big Red Machine offense.
After falling behind, 15-0, on two costly turnovers on a opening kick-off and a strip of Parker Caretti on a 63-yard jaunt. However, Isaly engineered a drive right before the end of the opening quarter, crossing the goal-line on a seven-yard touchdown run to pull the Pilots to within seven, at 15-8 heading into period two.
The Red Knights would shortly answer the Pilot score with a 29-yard field goal to push their advantage to 18-8.
After the ensuing kick-off, Isaly added his second tally, a 22-yard scamper and then hit Caretti on a 71-yard pitch and catch to put the Pilots in front, 24-18 at the break.
Toronto tied things up at 24 on a 58-yard pass play in the third period, while holding the Pilots scoreless in the period.
In the fourth period, the Pilots added a 24-yard pass and catch to Drew Dietz and a Isaly 34-yard scamper to give the Pilots the lead for good at 38-24 with a little over four minutes remaining in regulation.
However, the Red Knights wouldn’t give in and finished off a 10-play drive with a two-yard touchdown with two minutes remaining.
However, the Pilots played error-free ball the rest of the way to remain unbeaten at 8-0 with two regular season games with Buckeye Trail and Frontier to finish the regular season.
The Pilots had six turnovers, five of which were fumbles, while moving the chains 14 times, and committing nine penalties for 83 lost yards. Toronto, lost one fumble, and had 17 first downs, while losing 61 yards on seven infractions.
Besides then heroics of Isaly, the Pilots Caretti rushed for 60 yards on five touches, and gained 103 yards on two pass receptions. Drew Dietz added 38-yards on two grabs, while Drew Wagnild added 23-yards on one catch.
Once again the tandem of Cody Saska and Luke Matusik recorded 25 tackles, three sacks, six tackles for loss of yardage and two forced fumbles. Wagnild and Hunter Dennis each made nine stops, while Wagnild recovered a fumble and Dennis added a tackle for loss of yardage.
Caretti and Isaly each recorded seven tackles. The Pilots will try to keep their sights at one game at a time when they travel to Buckeye Trail Friday at 7 p.m. before finishing their regular season against Frontier on Senior Night, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. on Flannery Field.