River scores early, often in rolling past Magnolia – Martins Ferry Times Leader

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Sep 9, 2022
RIVER’S KADEN Johnson (22) runs with the football during Thursday night’s 49-6 victory over visiting Magnolia at Martin Flannery Field in Hannibal.
HANNIBAL – It was over early Thursday evening at Martin Flannery Field.
The red-hot River Pilots scored 34 points in the first quarter and never looked back en route to a convincing 49-6 victory over cross-river rival Magnolia.
“We executed well, got everyone touches and we came through the game healthy,” a satisfied Mike Flannery said. “We wanted to get all of our guys involved, and I think we were successful doing that.”
Indeed.
Of the seven Pilots’ touchdowns, six different players scored. Junior quarterback Kabel Isaly was able to spread the ball around quite effectively in his less than a half’s work. He was 10-of-10 for 120 yards and four touchdowns to four different players.
“River has a team as good as I’ve seen him have here,” Magnolia head coach Dave Chapman said. “He has weapons and Isaly is pretty good, too. He has a bunch of receivers and weapons. They’re a team that will give you fits because they’re solid on both sides of the ball.”
Though the Blue Eagles dropped to 0-3 entering a road trip to Cameron next week, Chapman was pleased with how his youthful squad competed literally until the final buzzer when it scored its first touchdown of the season.
“We play a bunch of young guys and they’ve just not caught up to the speed of the game,” Chapman said. “River was traveling about 90 miles per hour and we were in the same lane going about 45 miles an hour. Our kids work hard, but you can only get what you get. It was huge for us to score.”
While the Blue Eagles are on the road, River’s focus now shifts to a possible showdown of 4-0 teams against Barnesville. The Shamrocks visit Shadyside tonight.
“We have nothing but laser focus now (on Barnesville),” Flannery said.
River struck just over two minutes into the game when junior quarterback Isaly threw the first of his four touchdown passes. This one went to Ty Long from 2 yards out. Kicker Max Castro added the first of his five PATs.
The Pilots, which emptied their bench well before halftime, forced a punt on the Blue Eagles first possession. However, the punter couldn’t handle the snap and Lucas Dennis pounced on the loose ball at the Magnolia 6.
Isaly found River Thompson two plays later from 6 yards out.
Magnolia dipped into its bag of tricks unsuccessfully when it tried a fake punt on its next stalled drive. The Pilots were having none of it and took over on the Blue Eagles’ 27.
Senior Brody Lollathin – who made an impactful return to the River lineup a week ago at Monroe Central – got into the scoring act when he caught a 12-yard touchdown from Isaly.
Lollathin’s second touchdown came just 1:52 later when he put forth a dazzling 53-yard punt return in which he had stopped and then fully reversed his field.
River’s defense came up big with its second fumble recovery. Brayden Strawn recovered the errant snap at the 7. Kaden Johnson, the River running back, followed center Peyton Blue into the end zone.
Isaly’s final pass of the night was an innocent swing pass to Finn Bowers. He caught the ball in the flat and raced untouched to the end zone for the 52-yard touchdown.
The second half was played not only with a running clock, but the quarters were reduced to just eight minutes.
The lone Pilots touchdown was a 56-yard dash by Dennis. Junior Talon Ady plowed in for the 2-point conversion.
Magnolia dented the scoring column for the first time this season as the clock struck all zeroes when Tyler Anderson ran in from 6 yards out.
“I have a lot of respect for Doc and I know he’s playing a bunch of young guys,” Flannery said. “That will pay off for them down the road. I’ve been there and know what that’s like. This is a good rivalry.”
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