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GIBSONTON - To help simulate East Bay's wishbone offense during practice this week, 48-year-old Riverview coach Dan O'Regan - a former longtime Indians assistant - took some snaps for the Sharks' scout-team offense.
After a week of chasing a middle-ager, the Sharks proved they can run down teenagers as well.
Subtract a 74-yard touchdown run by Indians junior Ryan Stubbs, and the Sharks (2-0) limited East Bay's turnover-prone wishbone attack to 131 yards in a convincing 31-10 romp at E.G. Simmons Field.
Stubbs' scoring run off left tackle, on the final play of the first quarter, came shortly after Chip Burnett's fumble recovery at East Bay's 2-yard line and gave the hosts a 7-3 lead.
The Sharks responded with a seven-play, 74-yard drive, capped by Jahleel Addae's 1-yard TD run.
"That (run by Stubbs) kind of (ticked) us off," said O'Regan, whose team was awarded the Cherry's Cup, which goes to the winner of this annual south Hillsborough rivalry. "Our defensive staff, our defensive players, they just stepped it up a notch in their intensity, I think."
The Sharks' "scrum" offense, meanwhile, amassed 286 yards on the ground. Addae finished with a game-high 144 yards on 15 carries with two scores.
"Their linebackers float over hard," Addae said. "And when their linebackers float to the power side hard, the cutback lane was there all night. So we just took the ball to the power side and looked for the cutback."
Riverview's second and fourth touchdowns were set up by Indians turnovers in their own territory. Two plays after Indians quarterback Rex Ballenger fumbled at his 12, Antwain Powers scored from the 5 to give Riverview a 17-7 lead.
Quarterback Ryan McCall's 1-yard sneak was set up by Chris Luther's interception.
"They are a solid defense, a lot of speed on defense," Indians coach Brian Thornton said. "I'm hoping they're a pretty darn good team. We'll see."