By Ashley Hargrove
With four of his starting teammates out of the lineup for their contest against Madison Academy Friday night, Willie Rivera felt he needed to step up if his team wanted to end the season on a positive note.
The West Limestone junior did just that — and then some.
Not only did he rush 21 times for 161 yards, two touchdowns and a two-point conversion, he also nailed a 33-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining to lift the Wildcats over the Mustangs. Defensively, he had seven tackles, including two for a loss and one sack.
For his efforts, Rivera has been selected as this week’s News Courier Player of the Week.
Despite having missed three extra points earlier in the night, Rivera felt he could make it if his coach called upon him.
“I had a feeling I could make it, I was just hoping it would go through,” Rivera said. “It did, but just barely.”
West Limestone coach David Arnsparger commended Rivera for his performance.
“He was in the zone,” Arnsparger said. “He couldn’t do anything wrong. He was just making play after play on offense and defense, and then he made the winning field goal after missing 3 PATs. It was just incredible.”
Other notable performances from across the county include:
Landon Stephens, Tanner: The junior quarterback rushed 16 times for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He scored on runs of 9 and 30 yards. He also finished the night 14 of 21 for 203 yards and a touchdown. He added an interception in the fourth quarter.
Devin Robinson, East Limestone: The senior rushed 13 times for 200 yards and three touchdowns in his final game in an Indians uniform. He scored on runs of 3, 19 and 78 yards.