Spring football | Riverview holds on, beats Southeast 13-12

dgaulman@bradenton.comMay 24, 2014 

SARASOTA -- The Southeast Seminoles' rally was just a bit too late as they fell to the Riverview Rams 13-12 on Friday night.

Both quarterbacks struggled out of the gate in the spring game, combining to connect on only 5 for 27 passes and only 72 yards in the first half.

Unfortunately for Southeast, it couldn't stop the Rams' strong running game.

Riverview Karan Higdon rushed for 121 yards on 24 carries and two touchdowns.

"He's our workhorse; we will use him and look to have him carry the ball 20 to 25 times a game," Rams head coach Todd Johnson said.

Rams Tyler O'Keefe scampered for a 37-yard gain up the middle, giving his team a first and goal from the 3-yard-line early in the second quarter.

On the next play, Higdon punched it in for Riverview, giving the Rams a 6-0 lead.

The Seminoles couldn't get into an offensive rhythm for most of the night. It seemed as if every time they put together a solid drive, it was negated by a penalty or a play that didn't pan out.

Seminoles quarterback James Thomas showed a strong arm but wasn't able to connect with his receivers.

Thomas finished the game 4-of-20 with 57 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

Riverview took a 13-0 lead after a 5-yard touchdown run by Higdon with 11:19 left in the fourth quarter.

However, Southeast and Thomas weren't ready to throw in the towel.

"I told my guys we are here to have fun and give our best effort. We kept fighting until the end," Southeast's first-year head coach, John Warren, said.

Thomas found Qion Burch for a 12-yard touchdown pass, cutting the Ram lead to seven.

The kick went wide left and would prove to be the difference in the game.

With 3:36 left in the fourth, the Rams fumbled the ball on a pitch-back in an attempt to run out the clock.

The Seminoles took advantage of the turnover with a great heads-up play by running back Kevin Johnson.

Johnson who was stuffed in the backfield with what seemed to be a loss of yards, but pitched the ball back to Thomas, who was able to score from four yards out.

"I can assure you that isn't something we work on," Warren said with a chuckle.

Only down one, Southeast decided to go for the win but the pass fell short in the right corner.

"It was a unanimous decision on the sideline; we wanted to go for the win," Warren said.

The Rams inserted the starters back in with under two minutes to run the clock out and secure the win.

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