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River Pilots Hold On, Beats Waterford 7-6

By Bruce Crawford - Staff Writer | Oct 21, 2020

The Pilots enter Flannery Field in the play-off game against Waterford.

The River Pilots defense bent, but didn’t break in the Division VII, Region 27 second round Ohio Play-off against the Waterford Wildcats, and won 7-6 Friday night at Martin Flannery Field on a perfect football weather night.

“Our defense kept bending, but never broke and on offense, we made a big play when we needed it,” said River Pilot Head Coach Mike Flannery.

The Pilots kicker Zach Hocutt’s all important PAT boot following teammate Michael Johnson electrifing 80-yard scoring jaunt on the Pilots second play of the second period. After receiving A quick toss from freshman quarterback Brody Lollathin in the right flat Johnson outran everyone to the Promise Land for the games first touchdown and a River 7-0 lead.

The score remained that way until late in the fourth when Waterford reached the end-zone on a nice lob pass just short of the goal-line. After a few running plays, the Wildcats scored and went for the win on a two-point conversion pass, but fortunately the pass was off its mark and the River lead stood at 7-6.

Waterford threaten a few times, but the last threat was when the Wildcats got the ball back for the last time at their-own 25 yard line with 2-minutes remaining and went to work. After a 19-yard pass and catch to the 45-yard line, and a pair of incompleted passes. Waterfords end-around gave the visitors a first down inside the the Pilots 40 yard line with 1:16 left in regulation.

Waterford was guilty of a chop-block, pushing the ball back to the 37 yard line. River sophomore Ty Long then KO’ed the quarterback Grant McCutcheon for the second time in the second half, with teammate Nate Bowers pouncing on the pigskin to stop the ‘Cats from scoring.

“We had guys play their hearts out tonight,” added Flannery.

Carter Dennis paced the Pilots ground game with 62-yards on 17-carries, while Avery Creamer gained 21-yards on 3 touches, and Johnson 9-yards on four carries. Lollathin gained 8-yards and Jake Rose 7-yards. Lollathin picked up100-yards through the air on 5-16 passes, a touchdown and 2-interceptions. Johnson caught 2-passes for 85-yards, while Dennis and Rose both catching one pass each.

McCutcheon was 4-9 for 49-yards and a score, and also had an interception. Wildcat runningback — Daily accumilated 160-yards on 26 carries.

With the hard-fought victory, the third-seed River Pilots will host 11th seed Reedsvile Eastern who beat 6-seed Caldwell, 26-14 with the winner taking on the Shadyside-East Knox survivor in the regional saemi-finals.