Rivera scores three TDs, lifts short-handed Brea Olinda
BREA – Proof that Brea Olinda can thrive without its top two running backs came throughout Friday night’s first-round win.
Not nearly as replaceable is Noah Rivera, something the Wildcats were reminded of yet again during their 40-11 home victory over Anaheim.
The fleet-footed, 5-foot-7 junior receiver scored three touchdowns and surpassed 200 all-purpose yards in the first half, helping push the Wildcats into next week's Southern Division quarterfinal against Godinez.
Brea’s two most productive running backs, Michael Martinson and Nick McCann, left the game with injuries. Neither would return.
“He’s really special,” Wildcats quarterback Nick Drury said of Rivera. “Just a very gifted kid.”
On Brea’s second snap 19 seconds into the game, Rivera took a handoff on a reverse and ran 80 yards for a score. He caught a 30-yard TD pass from Drury late in the first quarter, then put the Wildcats up 21-3 after turning a 9-yard catch into a 53-yard score.
Rivera finished with five catches for 120 yards. Jake Levandowski added 65 yards rushing and a touchdown on nine carries.
“It’s a credit to the O-line the way we continued to run the ball,” Drury said.
Martinson limped off the field in the first quarter, but Brea coach Robb Perrance said the injury wasn’t serious. McCann left the stadium with his arm in a soft cast.