By TOMMY BRYAN
MURFREESBORO – Outmanned up front, Lebanon proved to be little more than a speed bump for fired-up Riverdale Friday as the Warriors rolled to a 42-7 win over the Blue Devils at Tomahawk Stadium.
The Warriors rose to 4-3 on the season and 2-2 in Region 4, 5A. LHS fell to 2-4 / 1-2 in the league. Lebanon's last win over Riverdale came in the 1993 season.
"We definitely didn’t show up tonight,’ said Lebanon coach Bobby Brown. "We’ve got to check and see where our heart is next week. We’ve got to fight harder and that starts Monday in practice."
Fullback Aaron Ebalarosa chugged 70 yards down the Riverdale sideline on the second play from scrimmage to reach pay dirt at the 11:06 mark of the first quarter.
Moments later Riverdale was back in the endzone as defensive back Joey Lee picked off a Matthew Maynard pass and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown – and the rout was on.
Riverdale tacked on another touchdown with 5:43 left in the first as Ebalarosa capped off a five-play, 23 yard drive with a seven yard run – stretching the margin to 21-0.
Lebanon answered when tailback Jacob Maynard bounced off left end, slipped through a tackle and roared 69 yards down the sideline for a TD with 2:05 left in the period.
The warriors put the game out of reach with a pair of scores – just 13 seconds apart in the closing minutes of the first quarter for a 35-7 lead.
Ebalarosa scored his third touchdown of the night with 5:18 left in the first half as he caught a swing pass out of the backfield from Cody West, flattened a Lebanon defender and strolled over the goal line for a 41-7 Riverdale advantage.
Lebanon managed just four first downs and 141 yards in total offense.
Jacob Maynard led Lebanon with 92 yards on 14 carries; Matthew Maynard added 22 yards on six carries. William Benford rushed five times for six yards.
Matthew Maynard completed just 2-of-13 pass attempts for 21 yards. Jacob Maynard had one catch for 13 yards, Robert Crudup had the other reception for eight yards.
Ebalarosa rushed just eight times for 100 yards to lead Riverdale. The Warriors cranked out nine first downs and 267 yards rushing. Riverdale’s West was 3-for-5 passing for 27 yards.
Lebanon will return to action Oct. 10 as Wilson Central comes to town for a 7:30 p.m. game at Nokes-Lasater Field.