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Riverbank Gridders drop Homecoming Game
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Bruin wide receiver Mike Dougherty took over for an injured Jon Blount and scored two touchdowns on Friday, but that wasn't enough to save the Bruins in their Homecoming game.

Riverbank High School lost to the Mariposa Grizzlies by a margin of 21-14.

"We had a number of injuries going into the game. That hampered our offense," said coach Matt Elkins, noting that Ben DeYoung had an injured back and Jeff Lopez, an ankle injury.

Added to that, Blount hobbled off the field with another ankle injury in the second quarter. So the Bruins had to throw more often than they wanted.

"We didn't play that badly. We only made one turnover. That's better than in past weeks," said Elkins." But Mariposa came out, ran the ball, controlled the clock and wore us down."

Riverbank, in defense, also could not contain Mariposa's steady running game of five or six yards a time.

"Mariposa was disciplined, and well coached. They were big guys and they kept coming," said Elkins.

Riverbank's quarterback Daniel DeCroix threw well for more than 200 yards. He completed 12 out of 17 attempts for 210 yards, including two touchdown passes. He was intercepted only once.

Dougherty scored in the second quarter on a 65-yard diagonal pass form DeCroix. He made his second touchdown on the first play of the last quarter, on another pass of almost equal length.

With other running backs such as DeYoung, Lopez and Blount out of action, Dougherty was "our last resort, the only prime time player left," said Elkins.

For defense, Riverbank had to pull in several inexperienced players such as Ryan Olander and Shaun Machutta, who did a great job, he noted.

The Bruins are still in the hunt for the playoffs, but they need to defeat Gustine in this Friday's away game. They are hoping to reach the playoffs for the third year in a row.

"We'll try to get motivated and get healthy. Gustine is a good team. The winning team will be the one, which makes the fewest mistakes. We'll be on the road and Gustine can be a rather hostile environment," he noted.

The Gustine Redskins. who wear red, white and black colors, are coached by Carl Scudder, who is now in his second year. Gustine has a 2-2 league record, and they lost their last game, 34-14, to LeGrand. Riverbank had previously defeated that team by 14-13.

Top returners for Gustine are quarterback and defensive back Justin Kanwyer (6-2 and 185), running back and linebacker Dennis Nunes and two-way linemen Anthony Sousa and Joey Rocha.

Leading newcomers are running backs and linebackers Louis Estacio (5-8 and 160) and Walter Bobbitt (5-10 and 165).