The first round of the Class 4 District 3 football playoffs was a mere formality for top seed Riverview Gardens.

The Rams beat visiting St. Charles, 59-6, in a turbo clock game on Saturday.

"That's why you always want to be seeded No. 1," Rams coach Rolando Merriweather said.

"Everybody was healthy when we finished," Merriweather said. "That's a good thing. That was what we were shooting for."

Merriweather's other concern was to start quickly. The starters played less than a half. In all, six different players scored touchdowns, all coming in the first half.

Senior quarterback Lawrence Johnson scored two rushing touchdowns and passed a 10-yard touchdown to junior wide receiver Michael Hogens.

Hogens also hit senior wide receiver Ryan Pitts for a 32-yard touchdown strike on a flea flicker. Two senior running backs, Carl Evans and Davion Evers, scored rushing touchdowns on 32 and 39 yards, respectively. Senior linebacker DeQuan Pierce returned a fumble 52 yards for a score.

"We scored quick like we wanted to," Merriweather said. "The best thing to me was to come out and be fast."

The defense recorded five quarterback sacks and three interceptions, one by junior defensive back Michael Neal and two by sophomore defensive back Anthony Weaver.

"We executed on defense," Merriweather said. "We weren't executing in the beginning."

Next up for Riverview Gardens (7-3) is a second-round game against visiting Fort Zumwalt East at 1 p.m. Oct. 28. 

St. Charles' lone touchdown came when senior running back Donald Littleton returned a kickoff 66 yards.

Johnson said the first playoff game was no different than any other.

"We had to come out like any other game," he said. "We came out fast. We can't take anybody lightly. We have to stay humble and not take anybody lightly. We just play Saturday to Saturday until we get to state. Being a senior, I can't take any play off."

St. Charles finished with a 2-8 record.

But junior quarterback Cody Thorne set several school passing records for single-game passing yards and season and career yards while senior wide receiver Dominic Pointer set the single-season record for receiving yards before his season ended with a broken collarbone in the sixth game.

"We faced a lot of challenges this year, particularly with depth and with health," Pirates coach Joe Liebner said. "That's an atypical year for that. We had a few guys stood out well and competed hard. Hopefully, that will put us in the offseason and make us better next year."

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