Riverside Military's first trip to the GHSA state playoffs ended with a 38-10 loss to Pepperell on Friday night in Lindale.
The Eagles (7-4) had a 48-yard field goal from Ahmad Chehab just before halftime to narrow Pepperell's lead to 6-3.
Pepperell scored three third quarter touchdowns to put the game out of reach. Despite the loss, Eagles coach Chris Lancaster was extremely proud of the Eagles effort in their first season playing in the GHSA since transitioning from the Georgia Independent Schools Association.
"I am very proud of the kids and our fans," Lancaster said. "It was clear that we were a little bit out matched tonight, but the effort was there as it has been all year."
Riverside Military quarterback Lucas Bersin, a junior, finished 17-for-28 passing for 135 yards and one touchdown pass. Eagles running back Julian Suber had 25 carries for 68 yards.
"Pepperell was very physical up front, and we tried to work out underneath tonight with short passes," Lancaster added.
Riverside Military junior tight end Brandon McKinney had its only touchdown on a 13 yard pass from Bersin in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles had the ball to start the second half but fumbled the football and Pepperell gained momentum as they converted that turnover into a 5-yard touchdown run by Brandon Whitaker.
"The turnover was kind of a turning point," Lancaster added. "It took the wind out of our sails a little bit."
The Dragons touchdown sparked a run of 32 unanswered points in the second half. The Pepperell defense forced five turnovers in the second half. The Dragons defense was led by linebacker Logan Osborne who intercepted three passes, and returned two for touchdowns.
Riverside Military's season is now complete. Pepperell visits Calloway in the second round of the playoffs next Friday.