PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP —
Dave Bors, like any coach worth his salt, wants to win every game.
Who doesn’t, though?
Of course, no team prevails in every contest, and his Riverside Beavers certainly didn’t in being pelted in their opener at Perry on Friday night, 22-8.
That having been said, as Riverside puts the pieces back together to host West Geauga in its home opener Friday night at Riverside Stadium, Bors says nothing has changed for his guys.
“It’s tough, but it’s one game,” he said. “It for sure doesn’t get any easier, but even if we had won the game, it wouldn’t have meant that our season was made. It’s one game, and we have to get a lot better this week.
“As much as we would have liked to get the win, we never set a goal of being undefeated. We respect our opponents, and now we need to work extremely hard to bounce back.”
Coming off a 14-point loss, there’s plenty of room for improvement, first and foremost, not committing 15 penalties, which Riverside did at Perry, costing it 115 yards, not to mention scoring opportunities.
“I’m proud to say that nothing was out of frustration,” Bors said. “It wasn’t one specific thing. We really had only one really bone-head penalty (block in the back) on a kick return that negated a touchdown. Fortunately, we still scored on that drive.
“We had few aggressive late blocks on offense that got called, an offensive pass interference on one of our receivers, false starts due to Perry making some defensive shift calls that resembled our cadence and a few others.”
Bors made it clear he wasn’t blaming the officials for Riverside’s flurry of flags.
“The refs called a good game, but it, obviously, doesn’t help when you’re going against a good team like Perry as well as yourselves,” he said. “Bottom line, all those penalties, no matter what they are or the reason for them, are the responsibility of the head coach, so I definitely need to do a much better job.”
What neither Bors nor anyone else could prevent was losing starting quarterback Maxx Brubaker to a second-quarter shoulder injury.
“The play Maxx got injured on was a pass play and he got hit from the blind side and hurt his arm,” Bors, who said his signal caller is questionable for the West Geauga game, said. “The time it happened was almost midway through the second quarter.
“We for sure didn’t execute well, but we did ourselves no favors with all of our penalties. Most of them came on offense. Any success we did have was negated by penalties. It’s difficult to get any momentum when you’re constantly shooting yourself in the foot. However, Perry did an excellent job and their defensive coordinator, Aaron Perusek had a nice game plan, so hats off to Perry.”
Bors wanted to make it clear Perry had plenty to do in shaping the outcome in the season-opening clash at Alumni Stadium.
“First of all, give Perry credit — they executed well,” he said. “We did a lot of things well, and a lot of things not so well. I will say this, though, to have your quarterback go down in the second quarter, have 15 penalties and still be within a touchdown in the fourth quarter, there are some definite things to build on as well as, obviously, work on.”
Which the Beavers certainly have spent time on this week in preparing for West Geauga, which prevailed in this matchup, 41-31, a year ago in Chesterland and leads the all-time series, 7-5.
The Wolverines held off Chardon in a hard-fought opener Friday night, 20-15.
“They play an aggressive 5-2 and 4-3 defense,” Bors said when asked to give an overview of West Geauga. “Much like Perry, they have very active D-linemen and linebackers and their safety, Curt Williams, is the real deal. He accounted for three turnovers in Week 1, himself.
“On offense, they go through their quarterback, Connor Krause. He is a great athlete who will run the ball at least 15 times, as well as throw very accurately. They have decent size up front and their running back and receivers are weapons that we can not overlook.”
Then, there’s the fact Bors went to Riverside from West Geauga, where he was head coach. The fourth-year Beavers coach admits this game still tugs at his heart strings.
“It will always be a special game, due to the great relationships we built over there,” he said. “This will be the last group that I know very well as I had all these guys in class, even though I never personally coached them.”
Bors believes his Beavers will be ready to bounce back this week against West Geauga.
“There aren’t any major concerns, except getting better this week,” he said. “The biggest concern is we gave up 41 against West Geauga last year. We need to figure things out against them, that’s for sure.
“It will come down to our guys being fundamentally sound.”