TAMPA — Riverview emerged from a gritty, smash-mouth game against Middleton with a 10-6 victory Friday. The Sharks turned in a dominant defensive performance, holding the Tigers to less than 40 yards on the ground and just more than 200 total.
“I’m very proud of our defense, they kept us in the game,” Sharks coach Michael Thornton said.
The Sharks (2-2) led 10-0 at the half on the back of a balanced rushing attack. Then Middleton receiver Shug Rhynes (four catches, 84 yards, one TD) stepped in the game after being held out the third quarter. His first play was a picture perfect corner rout that went for 35 yard, next a 24-yard touchdown changed momentum. The Tigers then got as close as the Sharks 40 but Cedric Sanders picked off a Marcellus Ray pass. A couple first downs on the ensuing possession were all the Sharks needed.
A bright spot for Middleton (0-4) was the return of senior captain Rufus Wiggins, out since the beginning of spring. He had a tackle for a loss, three solo stops and crammed up the point of attack all night.
“It felt good, all the anger built up over the months, to get it out,” Wiggins said. “It was a huge weight off my shoulders.”