SPRING FOOTBALL: Boyce, Rams run over Port Charlotte
Riverview runs for nearly 500 yards in win over Pirates
PORT CHARLOTTE By Scott Lockwood
For most running backs at the high school level, a 213-yard, three-touchdown performance would be considered a career night.
But Riverview High’s Ali Boyce is anything but your typical running back. Those numbers — nearly half of the more than 500 yards the Rams amassed as a team on the ground — were just another night at the office for Boyce in Riverview’s 42-17 spring win Friday night over Port Charlotte High.
After falling behind early on a Port Charlotte field goal, Boyce and the Rams’ rushing attack hit high gear in the second quarter. Boyce, along with quarterback Sean White, keyed an 88-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard scoring plunge by Boyce.
Moments after a 45-yard pick-six by Riverview’s Matt Garcia, Port Charlotte found pay dirt with a 46-yard pass by running back Bo Guy to a streaking Dylan Lockhart down the right sideline.
Riverview answered quickly with a 70-yard drive in the final two minutes of the half, with Boyce accounting for 56 of the 70 yards on a Ram drive that ended with Boyce scoring untouched from 7 yards out to put the Rams up 21-10 at the half.
Boyce, White and Michael Hayes continued their assault on the Pirates defense in the third quarter. White took his turn carrying the load and scored on a short run for the first points of the second half. White finished with 144 yards on 15 carries.
Boyce scored his third touchdown on the final play of the third quarter. He finished with 30 carries — just over half of what he had in last year’s playoff game against Vero Beach.
“We felt like the running game was going to be our strength heading into spring,” Riverview head coach Josh Smithers said. “Really all we’ve focused on is trying to run the football and be physical. I felt like we did a good job.”
Not to be outdone, Michael Hayes also had a 113-yard night. But Hayes used his arm to find the end zone out of the wildcat with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Jake Maglione.
Port Charlotte finished off the scoring with a 36-yard touchdown pass from Logan Rodgers to Guy with a little under two minutes left. Marc Jean-Louis led the Pirate attack with 29 yards on the ground, and Jean-Louis, Guy and Rodgers combined for 82 passing yards.
Smithers said that a win in the spring gives his team some big momentum heading into the summer, especially after last year’s season ended with a deep run in the playoffs.
“Port Charlotte has a great team and they’re very well coached,” Smithers said. “The guys should feel good about what they’ve accomplished. We’ve had a great offseason and now it’s time to move on and have a great summer.”