The Riverside Rams kept things in balance, especially in the first half, in their home opener on Friday.
The Rams ran the ball 14 times in the first quarter and the same number in the second quarter as they built a 22-6 halftime lead over the Kettle Falls Bulldogs. Riverside stayed with the ground-oriented attack in the second half to cement a 29-6 win in the Northeast A League opener for both schools.
“It’s nice to get a league win under your belt, that’s for sure,” Griggs said.
He added that the win was important for his team’s confidence after the Rams had dropped its first two games of the season.
Trailing 6-2 early in the second quarter, the Rams finally got untracked with a three-touchdown explosion before halftime.
Riverside quarterback Andrew Kramer ignited the second quarter attack with a seven-play drive that was capped off by a 21-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Schuler.
Three plays following a Tyler Jack interception, sophomore tailback Jacob Collins found the end zone on a 12-yard run to increase the Riverside lead to 15-6.
Collins, who scored on a 3-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter, finished with 148 yards rushing on 29 carries.
The Rams finished their second-quarter offensive explosion with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Kramer to Brayden Proctor.
Kramer completed 5 of 11 passes in the second quarter for 83 yards. He finished 11 of 28 passing for 176 yards.
The sophomore, who quarterbacked the freshmen team last fall, said life as a varsity signal-caller has gotten easier with every game.
“We wanted to come out with more intensity than they did,” Kramer said, “and I think we did.”
For most of the first quarter neither team could generate much intensity.
The Rams, who got as far as the Bulldog 35-yard line in their first three possessions, finally got on the scoreboard thanks to an errant snap over the Kettle Falls punter’s head that sailed through the end zone for a safety.
The Bulldog punt team made up for its mistake later in the first quarter when Brandon Hopkins scored on a 48-yard run with a fake punt.
Griggs said he was pleased with his team’s ability to shake off Hopkins’ TD run with those three touchdowns in the second quarter.
Kettle Falls had a chance to make serious inroads into the Riverside 22-6 lead early in the third quarter with a first down at the Ram 1-yard line. A penalty, an incomplete pass and two failed running plays forced the Bulldogs to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Kyle Dodson.
The Bulldogs moved into Ram territory twice more in the game but the Riverside defense rose to the occasion both times.
“I think our defense, overall, played really well,” Griggs said.
“We still . . . have some things we have to work out,” he added about his team’s overall performance.
The Rams travel to Medical Lake (3-0) at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Cardinals are coming off a 35-7 win over Newport on Friday.