The River Ridge Knights surprised everyone in 2020. They not only claimed their first victory against Cherokee County opponents, but beat all four they faced. They not only had their first winning season in 10 years, they were undefeated. They not only made the playoffs for only the second time in school history, they made it all the way to the quarterfinals. They finished as the 5th best team in 6A (AJC) and shocked the state by dominating Rome in the Playoffs before falling to Lee County.
River Ridge ran all over Lassiter to open the season and things only picked up from there. They beat Woodstock and Etowah in back to back weeks before charging into the region schedule. They continued to dominate, with only a few games even being competitive. They relied on the legs of Amehre Morrison, the arm of Carson Lathem, and the hands of Jackson Head and Riley Caines. Amehre finished just a few yards under the 2k mark, Carson tossed 17 touchdowns to only 7 Interceptions, and Andrew Bingham proved to be the ultimate utility player by racking up over 700 yards of all-purpose yards. Most of the skill position players will be returning for the Knights, including Morrison, Lathem, Bingham, and Head. The offensive line will have some new faces, but they will be big. Jonathan Faletra (6’5” 270 lbs), Jack Hall (6’5” 285 lbs), and Matthew Yuschak (6’7” 275lbs) are all names to know.
The River Ridge defense was the most complete unit in the county. They didn’t have much star power, but every starter was above average. The leader of the Defense was Cherokee County defensive player of the year, Brain Bradley with 118 tackles, 19 tackles for loss with 9 sacks. The Knights defense proved to be stout enough to stand up to the best offenses and consistent enough to keep teams under 20 points in 7 games. Bradley will be back this year to lead a defense with plenty of new faces. Dylon Persad, Hunter Coleman, and Brendon Dye will also be returning.
What can fans expect from the Knights? Expectations will be high on Arnold Mill Road and they should be. There’s no reason to expect anything less than a top two finish in the region. The difference this year is that River Ridge will be getting the best from every team this year. They won’t be able to sneak up on anyone this year. They play a fairly easy schedule when compared to the other teams in the county. Lassiter hasn’t had a winning season since 2017, Etowah and Woodstock could provide a challenge, but with both teams being younger and with new coaches, River Ridge will be favored. The region schedule is the biggest challenge, with teams like Creekview, Johns Creek, and Riverwood gunning for a region championship.
River Ridge is close to another undefeated season, but we’ll give them a 9-1 season. The Creekview game is the only game we see where the Knights won’t be heavy favorites. River Ridge will also face off against Woodstock and Etowah who will be hungry for revenge after last year. The Knights didn’t get a chance to square off against Johns Creek, so that’ll be another game to watch. The Knights have another legitimate shot at a region championship.
River Ridge broke out in 2020, and while expectations may be a little too high in Woodstock, there is still no reason not to see the Knight in the top two of the region. River Ridge will once again be in the conversation for the best team in Cherokee County.