By Mark Brock
DeKalb County Schools Athletics
Dallas Rivers rushed for 120 yards and four touchdowns to lead Stephenson to a 29-12 victory over Norland of Miami on Saturday at Hallford Stadium in theBattle of the Borders Showdown.
Most of the first half was a defensive struggle with neither team able to
advance much past midfield until the final 2:31 of the half.
Stephenson struck first as sophomore Khalil Ladler returned a punt 20
yards to the Norland 19 after Stephenson had pinned the Vikings
inside their 10.
Two plays later Rivers, who was named the game MVP, went 10 yards for the touchdown and Wisdom Nzidee hit the first of three extra points for a 7-0 Jaguar lead with 1:42 left
in the half.
Norland answered with a special teams return of its own as Cede Miller
returned the kickoff to the Stephenson 9-yard line to put the Vikings
in scoring position just before the half. Quarterback Taron James hit the
first of his two touchdown passes on the first play after the return as he
tossed it up in the corner for 6-5 receiver Kendrick Edwards, who
out-jumped a Stephenson defender and came down in the end zone for the
Stephenson’s Jared Tucker and Chauncey Rivers teamed up to the block the
point after to help the Jaguars maintain a 7-6 lead heading into the half.
Ladler opened the second half by returning the kickoff to the Norland 48
to give the Jaguars a short field to work with on their opening possession
of the half.
Rivers scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run and the
Jaguars converted a two-point conversion to take a 15-6 lead with 8:20 to
play in the third quarter.
Ladler stopped a Norland scoring threat with 2:59 left in the quarter by
intercepting a pass in the end zone to keep the lead at 15-6.
Rivers scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter on runs of 19 and 6
yards as the Jaguars took advantage of a Norland fumble and a defensive
stop on downs. Stephenson (1-0) took a 29-6 lead going into the final 3:39
of the game.
Norland kept fighting and scored as the clock ran out in the game on a
James to Khalil Muratt one yard pass play for the final of 29-12.
Dreshown Dean was named the Norland team MVP for the game for his play at
linebacker in the game.