Even with Wallace, River Ridge not a one-man football team

river ridge football
Brad Wallace

By Gail Wood

Steve Schultz popped in the highlight video for the college recruit to watch.

But rather than showing Brad Wallace, River Ridge’s speedy do-it-all running back, zig-zagging up field, breaking loose for a 60-yard touchdown – which he’s done. Wallace scored 22 touchdowns last season as a sophomore when he was first-team all-league and second-team all-state.

And rather than show him taking a toss pitch from the quarterback and breaking a tackle or catch a shoestring pass, which he did. He finished with over 2,000 all-purpose yards last season – as a sophomore.

Instead, the highlight video was of Wallace making a slam-bam, knock-him-down block, popping loose a teammate for a 40-yard touchdown run.

“Brad comes from the other side of the field and makes this blow-up block,” said Schultz, who is beginning his ninth season with River Ridge. “It was a big-time play.”

Wallace doesn’t have to have the football in his hands to be a factor.

Nor does he have to have the football in his hands for the Hawks to get into the end zone.

river ridge football“This team’s got lots of talent,” said Wallace, a three-sport standout. “It’s not just me. We’ve got lots of guys who can make plays.”

But teams are going to have to worry about stopping Wallace first.

“I think teams will have to put two players on him,” Schultz said. “When that happens, we’re 10 on 9 some place else.”

To get the ball in Wallace’s hands, Schultz is going to move him around on the field, playing him at running back, slot and wide receiver. But Wallace could be as effect as a diversion as he is a ball carrier.

Teams concentrating solely on Wallace will get into trouble. Jeremy Camacho, a three-year starter and a sticky fingered wide receiver, and his younger brother, Elijah, an explosive running back, are threats to score every time they touch the ball.

“Brad doesn’t have to do it all,” Schultz said. “We’ve got lots of talent.”

Camacho, a 5-7, 150-pound senior, had 24 catches and four touchdowns. On defense, he had three interceptions and 37 tackles as a defensive back.

To go along with the Hawks game breakers at running back and wide receiver, the Hawks have one other key ingredient – size and speed in the offensive line. The Hawks return five returning starters on offense and three are in the offensive line.

river ridge football teamO-line starters back are Zach Bowling, Rayne Lemaster and Christian Dilworth. Bowling, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound senior, got hurt in the sixth game last season. He’s back and healthy.

To bolster his line, Schultz moved Vaughn Berg from tight end where he played last year as a freshman. Schultz was impressed with how the 5-foot-9, 205-pound fired out of his stance.

“I said to him, ‘Do you want to start?’ And he said, ‘Yeah,’” Schultz said. “So he jumped in at guard.”

At quarterback, Colby Schultz, the son of the Hawks coach, is the passer-runner River Ridge needs in its option offense. Schultz didn’t get much varsity action last year, but he knows the offense well.     Schultz, at 5-foot-8, 155 pounds, isn’t going to bull tacklers over. But what he lacks in size he makes up for in football savvy.

“He knows where to look. He knows his reads,” Steve Schultz said. “He’s learned he needs to step up in the pocket when he’s under pressure. That allows him to stand in there and make decisions.”

In the tough Evergreen Conference, Schultz expects another dogfight for the run for the playoffs.

“Everyone’s good again,” Schultz said.


River Ridge Hawks


Coach: Steve Schultz, ninth year at River Ridge


Last year’s record: 5-4 overall, 2-4 in league


Number of returning starters: 5 on offense. 7 on defense.


Returning starters: Brad Wallace, RB/DB, 6-0, 185, jr, had over 2,000 yards in all-purpose yards, scored 22 TDs, all-conference; Zach Bowling, o-line, 6-5, 240, sr, season-ending injury in week 6; Jeremy Camacho, WR/DB, 5-7, 150, sr., 24 catches, 4 Tds, 3 interceptions, 37 tackles, 2 knock downs; Rayne Lemaster, OL, DE, 6-2, 225, jr, 29 tackles, 4 sacks; Christian Dilworth, o-line/LB, 5-11, 215, 53 tackles; Elijah Camacho, OLB, 5-5, 165, soph, 58 tackles, 5 for loss; Nich Justus, DB, 5-10, 155, sr, 18 tackles, 3 knock downs; Wesley Coats, DB, 5-11, 160, jr, 22 tackles, 2 knock downs 2 interceptions.


Top newcomers: Colby Schultz, QB, 5-8, 155, jr; Theo Cobb, C, 6-0, 220, jr; Rasheed Odaniel, OL/DL, 5-10, 280, sr; Jonathan Roberts, TE-DE, 5-9, jr, 180; Vaughn Berg, OL/DL, 5-9, 205, soph; Matthew Tucker, LB, 5-10, 195, jr; Lee Baker, o-line/d-line, 5-11, 205.


Coach’s summary comments about this season: A team strength is experience at the skill position and team unity. A weakness is depth. Team needs to stay healthy. This is such a tough league. Everyone is good from top to bottom. There’s no night off. I asked my team how many times Brad should get the ball. They said about every time. That’s what’s so great about this team. There’s nobody saying this my senior year and it’s my year. We don’t have any of that. This team plays together. They pull together.

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