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River Ridge Knights Come Up Just Short In Shootout With Sprayberry

The River Ridge Knights (2-1) came up just short on Friday night versus an explosive Sprayberry Yellow Jackets (3-0) squad. Despite the final score, River Ridge impressed our staff with their physicality and ability to step up big when needed.

The action kicked off with a bang in the first quarter as Sprayberry's quarterback, Jaden Duckett, punched in a 1-yard rushing touchdown, giving the Yellow Jackets an early 7-0 lead with 4:05 remaining in the quarter. As the clock expired in the first quarter, Sprayberry held a 7-0 advantage.

The second quarter saw a series of exciting plays, including a pivotal moment when Cameron Jackson of River Ridge blocked a punt, that was recovered in the endzone for a touchdown. Christian Pansera followed it up with a successful 2-point conversion run, giving the Knights an 8-7 lead with 10:07 left in the second quarter.

Duckett answered with a 16-yard touchdown run for Sprayberry. Although the PAT was unsuccessful, the Yellow Jackets reclaimed the lead at 13-8 with 3:46 remaining in the first half.

Sprayberry's defense stepped up in a big way, as safety Roman Spink intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown. The ensuing 2-point conversion, a pass from Duckett to Mark Manfred, extended Sprayberry's lead to 21-8 with 2:03 left in the second quarter.

River Ridge managed to put points on the board before halftime, as Gracen VanGlider nailed a 33-yard field goal, trimming Sprayberry's lead to 21-11 as they headed into the locker room.

The third quarter brought more fireworks as Duckett added another 1-yard rushing touchdown to his tally, extending Sprayberry's lead to 28-11. Robert Madayag contributed a 38-yard field goal for the Yellow Jackets, increasing their advantage to 31-11.

River Ridge didn't back down, with quarterback Ethan Spector connecting with Grant Hollier for a 50 yard strike and then Thomas Thompsen for a 15-yard touchdown pass, narrowing the gap to 31-18 with 4:18 remaining in the third quarter.

Duckett, continuing his remarkable performance, added yet another 1-yard rushing touchdown, increasing Sprayberry's lead to 38-18 with 1:46 left in the third quarter.

As the game entered the fourth quarter, the Knights mounted a fierce comeback effort. Camden Cox found the end zone with a 20-yard touchdown run, and Christian Pansera executed a successful 2-point conversion run for the second time, making it 38-25 with 8:28 left in the game.

River Ridge's Spector and Grant Hollier electrified the visiting crowd with a 75-yard touchdown connection, narrowing the deficit to 38-33 with just 3:49 remaining in the game.

In the end, Sprayberry's defense held strong in the final minutes, forcing an incomplete pass on 4th down at midfield with less than a minute left. Despite the success of Duckett, the Knights defense was impressive in the later parts of the second half. The linebackers rallied to the ball well and the secondary locked the Yellow Jackets down for most of the night. Sometimes, there are athletes who are hard to account for, Jaden Duckett was that tonight.

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