Aug 26, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff WriterThe Riverton Wolverines, with a balanced offensive attack that yielded more than 370 yards in total offense and a solid defensive effort wore down the Worland Warriors 27-9 Friday night in Worland.
The game was the annual week zero contest and sets the stage for what should be a huge regular season opening home game Friday against the defending state champion, Powell Panthers. Game time at Wolverine Field is set for 7 p.m.
Before Friday's game in Worland, the Riverton coaching staff drilled the gridders to play hard and with enthusiasm.
"We had spurts of intensity, but we're not there yet," assistant coach Derek Watson said.
Using a varied offense with new offensive coordinator Beau Sheets, the Wolverine tandem of quarterback Xavier Webb and TJ Galey, who already have two years of varsity experience together, looked to be in midseason form.
Webb was efficient with 13-21 passing for 126 yards and a touchdown while Webb plowed for 160 yards on 24 carries, including a long 64-yard up-the-middle scamper two plays before taking it the final yard for the game's final score.
The Wolverines struck first when 10 minutes into the game, Webb found senior receiver Kade Salisbury for a 13-yard pass and catch for Riverton's first touchdown. Webb's point after touchdown gave Riverton the early 7-0 lead.
Worland followed after a Riverton fumble with a field goal and a long touchdown pass of its own and led 9-7 into the second period.
The Wolverines got back on top for good when Webb found sophomore Brandon Fullerton from 24 yards out with a little more than three minutes left in the first half. Webb's PAT gave Riverton the 14-9 advantage.
A minute later, sophomore Anthony Condie picked off the Worland quarterback and took the interception 11 yards to the end zone. Webb's PAT hit the upright, and Riverton had a 20-9 halftime advantage.
In the final quarter, with a little more than five minutes remaining, Galey scored Riverton's final touchdown.
"It took us a little while to get going, but once we did, we got rolling," RHS head coach Jeremy McCormick said.
"We got a defensive score and that was nice. We ran the ball well, and we threw the ball well. We put some points on the board, and the defense played well. We talked to our line at halftime and asked them to focus on technique."
Playing in their base four-man front, McCormick said he was especially pleased that his team gave up only nine points.
"We didn't know what Worland was going to do," he said "
Our intensity built as the game went on, and we got better and better."
The Wolverine's receivers also played well, he said.
"They did a lot of good things tonight," McCormick said. "They blocked when we ran the ball and for the most part caught the balls we threw to them. We were pleased with how we threw the ball tonight."
Powell played in Miles City, Mont., Saturday night for its week zero game, and the RHS coaching staff hopes to have film on the Panthers by noon Sunday to begin their preparations for Friday's home opener.
"We have some work ahead of us," McCormick said.
"We had some breakdowns in protection ... and we need to look at those and get them cleaned up.
After the first game, you always have a lot of things to work on."
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