Ashburn, VA (August 24, 2018) – Normally, the opening game of the season is played in sweltering late-August conditions. But a break in the weather meant that the visiting Riverside Rams were playing the Rock Ridge Phoenix under what seemed like late-September skies.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
As the home team raced out of their brand new gigantic-inflated helmet tunnel, smoke billowed and surrounded the courageous cheerleaders who barely escaped getting crushed by the thundering herd of their varsity players. The team was greeted by nearly full stands, a student section dressed in Hawaiian gear, a huge cheerleading squad, and a raucous band. It was quite a scene for a program that has yet to make the post-season, and team spirit was high that they were ready to change that status.
On the other side of the field the "blue out" student section from Riverside was not to be outdone. For the first half they had to sit (or stand) looking directly into the sun, but that did not deter them from urging their team on.
After being stopped on their first drive, Riverside downed the ensuing punt on the Rock Ridge one yard line. Three plays later the home team was pinned in the end zone and gave up a safety. And that unusual, 2-0, score would be the margin as the first period ended.
As he would more than once in this game, Riverside quarterback Trevor Jackson finished a touchdown run to give the Rams a 9-0 lead in the second quarter. But the Phoenix' Ryan Capriotti made a brilliant leaping catch on a throw from Tristan Berry to cut the lead back to two points headed into the halftime locker room. Perhaps just a bit surprisingly, all the momentum seemed to be on the Rock Ridge side.
To open the second half, Riverside scored again to quickly deflate any edge the Phoenix felt that they had, but DJ Davis took the kickoff all the way back to the Riverside 38 yard line and put the energy back in his team. But Rock Ridge could only manage a field goal out of the drive, and that would be the last time they would score.
From that point, the Rams owned the pace of the game and methodically scored two more touchdowns to pull away at the end. Rock Ridge had done their best to keep it close for three quarters, but Riverside's offensive patience and consistency ruled the day.
Final score: Riverside 30 - Rock Ridge 10
|Players who could be clearly identified by jersey number are listed in the links below. Additional photos of these and other players may be viewed and purchased in the full gallery.|
|Riverside:||Rock Ridge:||Key Photos:|