RIVERTON — The Syracuse Titans have built their football tradition on having a solid defense. And a solid defense was exactly what the Riverton Silverwolves were expecting going into Friday night's game. What Riverton hadn't expected was a Titan offense that just wouldn't quit.
Led by senior quarterback Trevor Davis, Syracuse dominated both sides of the field and the clock all four periods, defeating the Silverwolves 24-14.
Early in the first quarter, Davis found receiver Shane Russell, sending him up the middle for a touchdown. The extra point kick by Brock Anderson put the Titans on the board 7-0. Attempts by Riverton quarterback Preston Young to put the Silverwolves within scoring distance were stopped cold by the Titan defense, leaving Riverton scoreless at the end of the first quarter.
Only two minutes into the second quarter, a Syracuse fumble gave the ball back to Riverton on its own 35-yard line, and senior Joey Jensen ran the ball into the end zone, tying the score 7-7. The Syracuse offense countered with a 47-yard pass completion to Mason Woodward, followed by a field goal completion by Matt Dunston. The Titans led again 10-7. Hunter Dimick sealed the Titan lead with a crushing sack of quarterback Young in the last six seconds of the first half.
“The Silverwolves are a tough opponent, their defense is solid”, said Titan coach Mitch Arquette. “We knew we had to step up our offense to be able to capitalize on scoring opportunities”.
Riverton came back after the half fired up. A questionable helmet-to-helmet call against Syracuse gave the Silverwolves possession at their own 13-yard line, and Riverton briefly took the lead 14-10 with a touchdown run by Stratton Brown. A failed Syracuse field goal attempt turned the ball back over to Riverton. Unable to convert the possession to points, a fourth-down Silverwolves kick wobbled to the 43-yard line. After that, the game was all about the Titans and Davis, who fired a pass to Diante Mitchell for a 53-yard touchdown completion, bringing the score to 17-14. Another sack by Dimick shut down the Riverton offense to end the third quarter.
The Titans controlled the fourth quarter clock, starting with a drive on their own 35-yard line that ended with Syracuse chipping away nearly eight minutes of play. A carry by Woodward took the Titans to the 47-yard line, where Davis took the ball on a 13-yard run into the end zone for a touchdown. A successful kick by Brock Anderson brought the score to 24-14. A monster pass rush and tip by Dimick ended Riverton's scoring efforts. Syracuse took control again at the 46-yard line, and it was game over for the Silverwolves.
“Woodward and Davis were connecting. They were able to capitalize on what Riverton gave us and convert those opportunities to points,” said Arquette.
“The Titans came prepared to dominate”, Davis said. “The offensive line gets better every game. They're keeping the pocket open, allowing me time to connect with the receivers. They're getting it done. We're getting better at reading plays and running the ball. We're ready.”
The Titans remain undefeated at 3-0 in preseason play.