Sabers run down by Riverside
BY HERB SMITH
Nick Dranchak and the Riverside air assault could not be stopped.
The senior quarterback threw for 302 yards and five first-half touchdowns and ran for another as the Vikings flew past Susquehanna, 42-21, in a nonleague game Saturday at William Emminger Memorial Field.
“We feel like having somebody like Nick Dranchak back there and throwing to the guys we have, you could do good things,” Riverside coach Evan Prall said. “The receivers are catching the ball and were making plays.”
The passing game produced some big plays as Dranchak averaged 25 yards per completion.
“Our guys occasionally got behind the defense with the speed that we have and the line did a good job giving me enough time to get the ball down the field,” Dranchak said.
Riverside (3-1) opened up the game on the ground and, after a 55-yard run by David Sweetman, Dranchak scored on a 1-yard run to give the Vikings a 6-0 lead. After a Susquehanna punt, Dranchak hit Jim Tucker for a 43-yard touchdown pass and a 12-0 lead.
Susquehanna (0-4) answered on the ensuing drive when Austin White hit Dylan Krall for a 32-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the first quarter.
But Riverside erupted for four touchdowns in the second quarter – all on passes from Dranchak, including two more to Tucker.
“The line did a great job and with all the athletes we have, I just want to get them the ball and let them make plays,” Dranchak said.
A 10-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Vishnesky made the score 34-7 for Riverside. Susquehanna drove inside Riverside’s 20 on the next drive but Vishnesky intercepted a pass in the end zone with eight seconds remaining in the half.
On the Vikings’ first play from the 20 after the touchback, Dranchak hit Mike Loftus near the 40-yard line. The senior tight end made a couple of defenders miss and raced to the end zone for the score as the first half ended.
“I feel we have some pretty good athletes who can turn a 5-yard out or a quick hitch into a big play,” Prall said. “In practice, we say ‘finish, finish, finish’. We like to get down the field and into the end zone and I think doing that in practice paid off for us today with all the long touchdowns we had.”
Riverside 12 30 0 3 – 42
Susquehanna 7 0 0 14 – 21
First Downs 12 6
Rushes-yards 20-133 27-93
Comp-Att-Int 12-21-1 4-10-1
Passing 302 63
Total yards 435 156
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-1
Penalties-Yds 8-55 12-85
Rushing: RIV – D. Sweetman 6-71; N. Dranchak 4-37, 1 TD; N. Munley 3-14; J. Odzana 2-11; P. Kroptovich 1-2; J. Pilsko 1-1; S. DeStefano 3-(-3). SUS – C. Mallery 9-53; A. White 9-28; B. Hepler 5-10; L. Brinton 2-6; K. Rivenburgh 1-(-1); A. Felter 1-(-3).
Passing: RIV – N. Dranchak 12-20-0, 302, 5 TDs; J. Plisko 0-1-1, 0. SUS – A. White 4-10-1, 63, 2 TDs.
Receiving: RIV – J. Tucker 4-75, 3 TDs; M. Loftus 3-97, 1 TD; J. Vishnesky 3-64, 1 TD; N. Munley 2-66. SUS – C. Stanley 2-19, 1 TD; C. Mallery 1-12; D. Krall 1-32, 1 TD.