Total domination might be an understatement in the Auburn Riverside football win over Todd Beamer 54-14 on Oct. 6.
The 54-point mark is the most points scored by the Ravens all year through their first six games, and it took a complete effort on all phases of the game.
“Defensively, offensively, running the ball and some of the completions we had today. It was an awesome job by the Ravens today,” said Head Coach Greg Herd.
Coming into the matchup, both sides had identical records and similar starts to the 2023 season. Both began 0-2 with not the best starts and were 2-0 in league contests.
The game got off to a worrisome start for Auburn Riverside. Todd Beamer returned the opening kickoff to the endzone for an early lead and also forced a fumble on the next kickoff, but the Ravens were able to fall on top of it.
“With that slow start, you expect guys to rally and bounce back from that. I think our guys did a great job of responding and it was a total team effort,” said Herd.
Senior Thyro Umi-Tuato’o shined bright in the win as the Ravens’ starting running back. He got the Ravens back on track after the team fell behind early in the game. He scored the first score for Auburn Riverside and finished the first half with four touchdowns. In the second half, he got another one, making five total touchdowns against the Titans.
“He did a good job of carrying it for us, but most importantly I think our guys up front took on a different mode than they have before and ran that thing down their throat,” Herd said.
He’s never had a game like this before in his life and couldn’t have done it without a little help from his friends.
“It felt great. I couldn’t have done it without my O-line of course,” Tuato’o said.
Tuato’o had the same sentiments regarding the Ravens’ offensive line: “Of course it started with our O-line setting up perfect runs and perfect passes. Putting us in a position where we can score on the defense,” Tuato’o said.
Before Todd Beamer scored in the second quarter, Tuato’o had reached the endzone three times. That was the only score Todd Beamer’s offense was able to manage.
Over its last two games, the Ravens’ defense is starting to figure it out. The Ravens didn’t allow a point against Kentlake and only one touchdown against Todd Beamer.
“They’ve (the defense) been stifling all year. They’ve been doing their thing, been tough and been super physical,” said Herd.
“Our receivers were blocking their butts off. There were zero complaints, asking for the ball. One of our receivers, Andrew Shrader, said, ‘let’s run this thing all night,’” Herd said.
And run it all night they did — there were only 16 passes thrown beyond the line of scrimmage.
The ground game and the execution that came with it spoke volumes about Auburn Riverside’s ability to execute a game plan.
“Our kids know and understand we try to do what’s best for the team. Every time that we play ball, our scheme is not necessarily dictated toward getting guys certain stats. It’s toward the best team effort and best team production we can have out there,” Herd said.
Highly touted recruit Jonathan Epperson had been sidelined with a couple of injuries, but suited up and got some reps against the Titans.
The key to keep on winning?
“It’s just our energy we create pregame that gets us that energy and high spirits before the game and going into the game,” Tuato’o said.
“Were focused on next week. We’re gonna enjoy tonight and then we’re ready for Kennedy Catholic tomorrow morning,” said Herd. The Ravens take on the Lancers on the road on Oct. 14.