the Southerner Online

Riverdale special-teams unit turns out the Knights with 3 TD returns

The+Knights+had+a+14-6%2C+momentum+and+what+looked+to+be+an+eight-point+halftime+lead+until+running+back+Ti%E2%80%99Keem+Cooper+took+the+ensuing+kickoff+84+yards+for+a+game-tying%2C+tide-turning+touchdown+as+the+first+half+ended.+Photo+courtesy+of+the+Grady+Knights+Football+Pictures+Facebook+page.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Riverdale special-teams unit turns out the Knights with 3 TD returns

The Knights had a 14-6, momentum and what looked to be an eight-point halftime lead until running back Ti’Keem Cooper took the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a game-tying, tide-turning touchdown as the first half ended. Photo courtesy of the Grady Knights Football Pictures Facebook page.

The Knights had a 14-6, momentum and what looked to be an eight-point halftime lead until running back Ti’Keem Cooper took the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a game-tying, tide-turning touchdown as the first half ended. Photo courtesy of the Grady Knights Football Pictures Facebook page.

The Knights had a 14-6, momentum and what looked to be an eight-point halftime lead until running back Ti’Keem Cooper took the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a game-tying, tide-turning touchdown as the first half ended. Photo courtesy of the Grady Knights Football Pictures Facebook page.

The Knights had a 14-6, momentum and what looked to be an eight-point halftime lead until running back Ti’Keem Cooper took the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a game-tying, tide-turning touchdown as the first half ended. Photo courtesy of the Grady Knights Football Pictures Facebook page.

The Southerner

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Knights had a 14-6 lead, momentum and what looked to be an eight-point halftime lead until running back Ti’Keem Cooper took the ensuing kickoff 84 yards for a game-tying, tide-turning touchdown as the first half ended. Photo courtesy of the Grady Knights Football Pictures Facebook page.

By Patrick Wise

The evening was cool, and the energy in Eddie S. Henderson Stadium could be felt from blocks away. It was Friday night and therefore a time for football. The host Grady Knights (2-1), donning blood red uniforms, stood around excitedly prior to kickoff.  At around 8:30 p.m., a whistle blew and the game against the Riverdale Raiders (3-0) began.

A fierce battle between two undefeated teams ensued, a battle that ended with the visiting Raiders defeating the host Knights, 28-14, on a night when Grady’s special teams unit was anything but special.

The game began with a holding penalty against the Knights on their opening drive, which brought about a Grady punt, which Riverdale received at the 33-yard line. From there, the Raiders marched up the field, appearing like they were poised to score the game’s first points. With seven minutes left in the first quarter, the Raiders’ drive turned sour when the Knights’ safety Deshawn Benton tipped a pass that defensive back Hakeem Todd intercepted in the end zone and returned 100 yards for a Grady touchdown. As you might expect, the crowd at Grady Stadium, fans and players alike, went nuts.

The extra point was good and the score was 7-0, Grady.

The Knights hustled to cover the ensuing kickoff return and stopped the Raiders at their 20-yard line. A series of uneventful possessions continued through the first quarter until Riverdale pushed back the Knight defense. A series of productive plays catapulted the Raiders down the field before they were stopped at the 1-yard line. From there, the Raiders successfully ran the ball for the final yard for a touchdown with 1:17 left in the half.  It was the only touchdown the Raiders offensive unit would score all evening. The potentially game-tying point-after was a low liner that never got higher than the crossbar. At the end of the first quarter, the Knights clung to 7-6 lead.

With time winding down in the first half, the Knights were driving for tiebreaking score. With 10 seconds on the clock, quarterback Kivon Taylor dropped back to pass, broke a tackle that would have been a sack and scrambled to the right corner of the end zone with 2.8 seconds left before halftime.

It ended up being a costly 2.8 seconds.

The excitement of Grady’s score was reversed by an even more impressive, last-second score by the Raiders. Even though there was less than three seconds left on the clock, Grady elected to kick the ball high and deep to the Raider 16-yard line. Riverdale received the kickoff and scampered – untouched – down the left hash mark 84 yards for a touchdown to make the score 14-12.  A long pass to the right corner of the end zone for the 2-point conversion tied the halftime score at 14.

The kick return was the pivotal point in the game. The shell-shocked Knights were hopeful for a second half reversal that never came.

Instead, the Raiders came out on fire as the second half began –inexplicably – the same way the first half ended.  Riverdale returned the opening kickoff of the third quarter for a touchdown to make the score 21-14.  The Raiders didn’t even wait for their offense to take the field to strike again.  After a three and out on the Knights first possession of the half, Riverdale blocked the Knights’ punt attempt, recovered the fumble and returned it for a touchdown that doubled up the Knights and also produced the game’s final score.

The outcome was stunning but not altogether unexpected.  No one expected an easy game against the Raiders.  Grady went in confident it could win, but the knowledge that the Raiders had shut out the North Clayton Eagles 21-0, two weeks prior was heavy on everyone’s minds. This was the same team that Grady defeated, 39-29, on Sept. 8.

The Riverdale defense stifled the Knights offense in the second half. Taylor endured several sacks in the third quarter. The Knight defense was up to the task, creating a turnover – an interception – to thwart a Riverdale drive in the third quarter with 5:47 left.

The Knights, however, could not mount an offensive threat in the fourth quarter as their effort unraveled due to sacks, penalties and a costly turnover on downs.

The Knights entered the game undefeated and ranked No. 10 in 4-A by the Associated Press; the Raiders left Grady’s stadium undefeated and ranked No. 8 ranking in the same poll as a result of their 3-0 start to the season.

Grady hope to turn around its fortunes in its next game against Lithonia (0-3) on 7:30 p.m. game on tonight at Lakewood Stadium.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
1 Comment

One Response to “Riverdale special-teams unit turns out the Knights with 3 TD returns”

  1. Knight Fan on October 5th, 2012 10:15 am

    Great article!

Navigate Left
  • Riverdale special-teams unit turns out the Knights with 3 TD returns

    Front Slideshow

    Sports staff questions lack of clarity in staff turnover

  • Riverdale special-teams unit turns out the Knights with 3 TD returns

    Front Slideshow

    U.S. Women’s National Team files gender discrimination lawsuit

  • Riverdale special-teams unit turns out the Knights with 3 TD returns

    Front Slideshow

    Boys lacrosse misses out on playoffs

  • SPORTS

    Lambert named APS Athletic Director of the Year

  • Riverdale special-teams unit turns out the Knights with 3 TD returns

    Front Slideshow

    Patrick Johnson ’01 accepts Athletic Director position

Navigate Right

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






An upbeat website for a downtown school
Riverdale special-teams unit turns out the Knights with 3 TD returns