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Super Suber leads Riverside to rout, 38-7
Big first quarter sparks Eagles to region win over Oglethorpe
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On a wet night where a constant mist kept fans searching for cover, the Oglethorpe County Patriots (1-7, 0-7 Region 8-AA) were constantly searching for Riverside Military Academy’s Julian Suber, who has lined up at various positions this season and even scored touchdowns by four different methods in a game earlier this season (passing, rushing, receiving, and returning).

Unfortunately for the Patriots, every time they found Suber, he seemed to be breaking away from the defense or in the end zone, as he rushed for 277 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries, all in the first half, leading Riverside (5-3, 4-3 Region 8-AA) past the Patriots, 38-7, at Maginnis Field.

Even though containing Suber was the focal point of Oglethorpe’s defensive game plan, he continually found and exploited gaps in the defense for chunks of yardage.

“We tried to make him go lateral. We didn’t want him getting downhill because we know he has a lot of speed,” Oglethorpe County coach Buddy Cain said. “He was a No. 1 guy to stop, which we didn’t do.”

It didn’t take long for Suber to make an impact for Riverside.

After the Eagles defense forced a three-and-out on Oglethorpe’s first possession, Suber was used as a decoy on Riverside’s first play from scrimmage, which resulted in an 18-yard screen pass to Adrian Quinones. On the next play, it was all Suber, as he worked his way to the right edge before bursting up the sideline for a 32-yard touchdown run.

After unsuccessfully attempting to pass in the wet conditions on their next drive, Riverside coach Chris Lancaster abandoned the passing game and decided to simply give the ball to Suber.

“We tried to pass it early, and we didn’t do a good job,” Lancaster said. “We just didn’t want to take any chances. I mean with Julian back there, why?”

Suber responded by taking the ball 34 yards on four carries to score the Eagles’ second touchdown.

Less than three minutes later, Suber was again heading for the end zone. This time from 58 yards out to give Riverside a commanding 21-0 lead in the first quarter.

Riverside added another touchdown on an 9-yard Lucas Bersin pass to Quinones, which was set up by a 39-yard Suber run. Quinones finished as the Eagles’ leading receiver with 31 yards on three catches.

After adding a Ahmad Chehab 25-yard field goal, Riverside completed its scoring on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Bersin that was again set up by two Suber runs. Bersin’s plunge into the end zone gave Riverside a commanding 38-0 lead at halftime.

Lost in the excitement of Suber’s dynamic running was the play of the Eagles’ defense. They stuffed the run for nearly the entire game, and barely allowed Patriots’ quarterback A.J. Perlotte time to breath when he dropped back to pass. And when Perlotte did have time to scan his options, there were rarely any open receivers. Perlotte finished 6-of-12 for 75 yards. He was also one of three Patriots to be intercepted.

Two of those interceptions were pulled down by Eagles’ defensive back, Victor Frick.

“Frick came back off of an injury and had two interceptions,” Lancaster said. “That was the turning point of the game to me. When they tried to throw it deep, we got it.”

The Patriots did get on the scoreboard with 6:31 remaining when their leading rusher, D.J. Johnson, who finished with 82 yards on 11 carries, scored from 4 yards out.

The Patriots also threatened to tack on a meaningless score at the end of the game, but 5-foot-1 freshman cornerback Jacob Thompson reeled in an interception to end the game.

Riverside will play host to Union County at 7:30 p.m. next Friday in a crucial Region 8-AA matchup as the Eagles attempt to fight and claw their way into one of the four playoff spots.
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