C.J. Anthony

C.J. Anthony maneuvers down the field in the second half Friday night at Riverdale. Anthony made multiple catches for the Raiders in their effort to avoid a shutout in their final game.

The offensive issues that hurt Central High School football over the last weeks of the season were apparent again on Friday, November 1. On the road in Murfreesboro to take on Riverdale, the Raiders were unable to find a touchdown in a 31-0 shutout loss to the Warriors in the final game of 2019. 

Between the team's most recent game and the week prior against Oakland, CHS finished its final two games of the schedule with 6 points total.

"I didn't like the fact that we didn't execute that well offensively at the beginning of the game," Coach Doug Greene said. "We had a lot of opportunities. We missed throws, dropped throws, or didn't protect. Second half I thought we did a little better."

The Raider offense was able to put together longer drives in the third and fourth quarters, but was unable to find its way into the Warrior end zone. This was best exemplified when one of the team's best chances to score and avoid a shutout ended in a turnover on downs at the Riverdale 14 in the fourth.

On defense, the Raiders struggled in the first half, surrendering three touchdowns and a field goal in the first two quarters. After making some halftime adjustments, the team allowed just one more Warrior touchdown in the game.

Important tackles came from players such as Zack Galey. Galey also had an interception in the first quarter.

"I think we fought hard, we were a little undisciplined," Galey said. "We can go back in the lab. It's gonna be the offseason so we can just work, just keep working. That's all we can do."

After CHS went three-and-out on its first possession, Riverdale scored on a 39-yard touchdown run to take an early 7-0 lead. After another Raider three-and-out, the CHS offense got the ball right back off Galey's interception to put the team on the field in Riverdale territory. Once again, the offense was unable to convert and turned the ball over on fourth-and-one.

Riverdale made it a 14-0 game near the start of the second quarter, then added another not long after to make it a 21-0 lead with 7:11 left in the half.

The Raider offense put together a stronger drive near the close of the first quarter off a big pass from Conner Shemwell to C.J. Anthony. The completion put the team back in Riverdale territory.

The promising start ended in an interception that resulted in a Warrior field goal in the final seconds of the first half.

After Riverdale added another touchdown in the third quarter, the Raiders marched down the field from their own 30-yard line to start the fourth quarter at the Warrior nine on fourth down. After an illegal procedure backed the offense up five yards, an incomplete pass gave the ball back to Riverdale.

The offense's last chance to avoid a shutout came on its next possession. After a long run from Matthew Pittman set CHS up inside the Warrior 30, an interception on a pass attempt to Kelvin Verge inside the 10 brought the Riverdale offense back onto the field to close it out.

"The number-one thing in the offseason is gonna be getting bigger and stronger. We've gotta add 15-20 pounds to each player," Greene said. "The good thing is next year, everybody knows the basic schemes so we're just building. You're not in there teaching from ground zero, you're building it up."

The Raiders finished the 2019 season with a record of 2-8.

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