Riverview High School, behind a hurry-up offense, dominated from its opening drive en route to a 41-3 win over Lakewood Ranch Friday in the Ram Bowl.
Riverview led 34-3 at halftime.
The Rams jumped to a 7-0 lead on a 7-yard pass from Mike Welcer to Zy Grable with 9:26 left in the first quarter to cap an 80-yard drive. After a Mustang punt, the Rams went up 13-0 on a 4-yard run by Ali Boyce. Mika Kushnitzky’s ensuing kick was blocked.
“We made a lot of mistakes, and we had a lot of kids hurt tonight,” Mustangs head coach Mick Koczersut said. “I really like the group of kids we’ve got. They battled in the second half; they showed a lot of character in the second half. We’ve got to go from there.
The Rams went up 20-0 on a 33-yard run by Welcer with 5:23 left in the quarter to cap a 65-yard drive. Kushnitzky’s kick was good.
Welcer and Andrew VanNess hooked up on a 19-yard scoring pass with 8:53 left in the second quarter, and Van Ness scored on a 9-yard run (4:54). Kushnitzky’s kicks made the margin 34-0 before Lakewood Ranch got on the board with a 27-yard field goal by Travis Freeman with five seconds remaining in the half. The kick capped a 75-yard drive.
Riverview ran the ball for most of the second half. But a 32-yard touchdown pass from Welcer to Malachi Wideman gave the Rams their final margin of victory. That score prompted the switch to a running clock.
The Rams (2-0) will host Steinbrenner High of Lutz in an 8A-District 6 game Friday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in the Ram Bowl.
The Mustangs (0-2) will host Braden River in a 7A-District 11 game Friday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Asked if his team had made any progress since a season-opening loss to Tampa Jesuit, Koczersut said, “Not enough. We’ve got to work to get better. These kids will get better. I believe in these kids.”