WOODSTOCK — Amehre Morrison scored on a 70-yard touchdown run just 42 seconds into the game, and River Ridge made a late fourth-down stand to preserve a 22-17 win over Woodstock on Friday.
Soon after Morrison, who ran for 164 yards, made his early statement, he added another rushing score on a 3-yard plunge to give River Ridge (2-0) a two-touchdown lead.
“He’s a big-time player,” River Ridge coach Micheal Collins said. “When you have other big-time players playing, you’ve got to show why you’re big-time, and he did just that.”
However, it was the defense is what ultimately won the game for the Knights.
River Ridge stuffed a Woodstock run for no gain on a fourth-and-1 from the 10-yard line and emerged with the program’s first win over a county opponent.
“We just gave up a fourth-and-18,” Collins said. “To show the resilience and perseverance to get it to another fourth down and stop them made me so proud of them. We preach ‘play the next play,’ and they did that.”
River Ridge was 0-20 against Cherokee County teams, including losses in its first two matchups with Woodstock (1-1).
After trailing by 13 points early, Woodstock responded by scoring 17 of the next 20 points to take a 17-16 lead midway through the fourth quarter.
River Ridge answered with quarterback Carson Lathem making perhaps the two biggest plays in program history. First, he converted a third-and-9 pass to receiver Jackson Head for 13 yards and a first down.
Head finished the game with seven catches for 74 yards.
The second provided the game-winning touchdown on a 16-yard run with 4:38 to play before turning it over to his defense.
It made up for a crucial interception that led to a Woodstock touchdown.
“I had to keep my head up because, if you get negative, you don’t make plays,” Lathem said. “Had to continue on, move forward and make plays.”