PECKVILLE – In the first two meetings between District 2 “A” power Riverside Vikings and District 4 “A” power Southern Columbia Tigers, the Vikings were able to pull off hard-fought victories. In 1997 they were the only team in a 13-year stretch that could keep Southern out of the state title game, up-ending the Tigers 35-28 in the eastern final. In 2008 they over-powered a rebuilding Tiger squad by a score of 25-7. The 2010 version of the match-up was looking to shape up much differently with Southern seemingly on a roll and in true play-off form for the first time since ’06, but the Vikings had other ideas. Riverside won the battle up-front and ran all over Southern in a 36-0 lambasting.
To say that Riverside had Southern’s number would be an understatement. Coach Roth’s Tigers could find no answer for Vikings quarterback, Corey Talerico. He threw for four touchdowns and ran for a fifth. Skylar Lavage and Nick Dranchak each hauled in two touchdown passes. If Southern was stopping the pass, Talerico found another way to get the first-down. Other times, stud running back, Nick Rossi was pounding his way down-field on one of his 20 carries for 108 total yards.
Southern just never was able to gain any momentum, and seemed to have left their football on the bus or possibly back at Tiger Stadium where they were able to win their 19th district crown. Wherever it was it couldn’t help the Tigers as they watched their season come to an abrupt end along with the football careers of many fine senior athletes. For their part, Riverside was able to capitalize on every Southern mistake, and just plain out-play them in every aspect of the game.
Southern Columbia (10-3) ends the season with a District 4 Class A title. They seemed to bring the program one step closer to its former state championship form, but there is no room for any let-up this time of year, and that lesson was learned the hard way for this year’s squad. Congratulations Tigers on another fine season.
Riverside improves to 12-1 for the year and sets its sights on the Hurricanes(11-2) of Schuylkill Haven after their 42-28 victory over Calvary Christian Academy. Best wishes to coach Armstrong’s Vikings from here on as they seek their first state championship.