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River Routs Belpre

By Rick Loy - Staff Writer | Oct 6, 2021

Homecoming Queen and King

The River Pilots on Friday evening October 1, 2021, celebrated homecoming in a rout of visiting Belpre at Martin Flannery Field, winning 58-12. Talented sophomore quarterback Kabel Isaly tossed four TD’s in the Pilots victory.

Senior Brody Longwell had a huge night as well with a 45-yard TD reception, 70-yard TD run, and a pick six from 50 yards out. Brody Lollathin added a TD reception with three catches for 86 yards. Sophomore backup Finn Bowers threw one pass for 69 yards and a score to freshman Lucas Dennis.

The Pilots got off to a fast start scoring 36 points in the first quarter and never looked back in routing the Golden Eagles. Avery Creamer started off the scoring on a 30-yard interception return for a score, Zack Hocutt added the PAT for a 7-0 lead. River would block a punt on the next series out of the end zone for a safety to lead 9-0. Isaly accounted for the next four scores with passes of 45 yards to Longwell, 27 yards to River Thompson, 41 yards to Lollathin, and 19 yards to Thompson all in the first quarter.

Coach Mike Flannery’s squad was stiff on defense holding the visitors to just two first downs and 31 total yards on the night and had two interception returns for scores, plus the punt block for the safety.

River improved their record to 3-4 on the season and will host the Bridgeport Bulldogs Friday starting at 7 p.m.

The Pilots had nine first downs, 209 yards rushing on 27 carries with Bowers leading the way with 18 totes for 85 yards, the Pilots were 9-11 for 248 yards passing led by Isaly 8-10 for 179 yards and 4 td’s.

The visiting Eagles had 4 yards passing on 3-7 by Stracher with 2 interceptions, only mustered only 27 yards rushing on 26 carries, Martin led in rushing with 8-16 and a td for the visitors.

Josie Reed was crowned the 2021 Homecoming Queen at halftime and Brody Longwell was crowned King.

Pilots fall to Shadyside

In Close One

By Ed Parsons


A young but talented River team gave the Shadyside veteran Tiger team fits on Friday night, September 25, before falling in a close one 14-12. The highly favorite Shadyside team looked like they might be on there way to a blowout after jumping ahead 14-6 in the first half, but the Pilots rallied together and scored the only points of the second half while holding the Tigers scoreless the rest of the way.

The Pilots defense held the high powered Tiger team to 282 yards of total offense, while the home team was penalized 13 times for an astounding 150 yards, including seven fouls of the 15-yard variety.

“I take (the blame) for many of the penalties, but I also know I am embarrassed to be a part of this team as it is right now,” Holenka said. “They’re going to be disciplined (this coming week), and I just hope the parents want the discipline because they’re going to have to come and explain to me that they don’t deserve it.”

Many of those Shadyside penalties came in the second half when it failed to score. The fouls helped extend Pilot drives, but they didn’t need a lot of help in that department.

The Pilots (2-4) came in to Tiger town with a game plan and carried to out to perfection by controlling the clock with a power running game and limiting the Tigers time of possession. \The Pilots made big plays at the right time to keep the clock running. They had a couple opportunities to score in the red zone however miscues and a fumble cost them in the fourth quarter..

“I think our kids discovered they’re capable of playing against anyone, and I believe we came together (Friday) … big time,” Pilots head coach Mike Flannery said. “We had a plan to come out and run the ball and it was working, so we stayed with it.”

River trailed 14-6 at halftime. Actually, the Pilots jumped out first thanks to junior Brody Lollathin ripping off a 56-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.

A couple of plays later, Austin Creamer plowed in to the end zone from 6 yards out.

The extra point kick failed after they were moved back to the eight yard line on a penalty. Shadyside wasted no time in answering. The Tigers scored on their first two possessions. Reiman, who had another solid effort with 138 yards, found the end zone for the 19th time this season.

The Tigers scored on a 30 yard pass play to take the lead and later added another score to enter halftime up 14-6. Neither team could score in the third but, River got a score in the fourth quarter on a three yard burst from Austin Creamer following a 57 yard scamper to set it up. Creamer finished with 112 yards on just 13 carries needing the 2-point conversion, Flannery spent his final time out. Sophomore quarterback Kabel Isaly rolled out and threw back into the middle of the field for a completion, but the ball never broke the plane, leaving the score at 14-12. The Pilots went for two to tie the game and it looked like they scored but the receiver was ruled out of bounds.

“I thought he caught in the end zone, but (the officials) ruled that the ball didn’t get in,” Flannery explained. “It was a well-officiated game. I have to look myself in the mirror to see if I did the best job. I am probably more proud of these kids and their effort (Friday) than I’ve been in 39 years of coaching.”

Still, the Pilots had another opportunity. After the Tigers were set back by a false start, illegal chop block and yet another unsportsmanlike conduct, they were forced to punt.

However, River took over on its own 25 with just 3:03 showing and nary a timeout with which to work. The Pilots managed to pick up one first down, but back-to-back sacks by the Tigers took their toll on Isaly and the clock. Eventually, the drive ended on downs and Shadyside took over and run out the clock.

River returns home next Friday after three weeks on the road to celebrate Homecoming against Belpre.