Photo, Dee Ann Hudson

The Riverside Chargers are the kings of Nebraska Six-Man Football for a second straight year, leaving no doubt with a 72-18 demolition of area rival St. Edward in Friday’s championship game at the University of Nebraska-Kearney.
The title tilt became something of a coronation for Riverside, capping a dominant season and continuing a storybook start for the Charger program.
One year previously, Riverside had avenged its only loss in the school’s inaugural season by defeating Spalding Academy for the six-man title on this same UNK Foster Field. Wearing special championship game jerseys with ‘Defend’ printed on the back, Riverside made it two-for-two with Friday’s rout and culminated a season in which the Chargers outscored opponents 670-152.

“All week, in practice, you could tell the kids had a focus to finish the season undefeated, as state champions,” said Riverside Coach Joe Imus. “We played like a championship team right away and it allowed everyone to play relaxed.”
Indeed, it didn’t take long for the Chargers to assert themselves. Jake Kennedy raced 40 yards for a touchdown on just the second play of the game, sparking a 24-point first quarter that would lead to a 44-0 halftime advantage.
“St. Edward is a great team and had a great season,” Imus praised. “We knew coming into the season they would be a huge challenge to us repeating.
“Starting a new school district with back-to-back state championships is a great way of symbolizing the success Riverside will be.
“I don’t know if you can do any better than that.”

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