Carver wanted to send a message that it is a true contender for the district crown in its 9-4A debut Thursday.

They did just that with a convincing 42-6 victory over Riverdale at Joe Yenni Stadium in a game, which also doubled as Riverdale’s homecoming game.

This is Carver’s first time starting a season 4-0 in over a decade.

“We know that this is a big district, and we want to show that we can play with anybody,” Carver running back Rodney Major said. “As long as we focus on our execution and do what we’re supposed to do, we think we can beat a lot of people.”

Despite going into halftime with a three-score deficit, Riverdale (1-3, 0-1 in 9-4A) came out and tried to fight its way back into the game.

After taking its first drive of the second half 67 yards in 12 plays, concluding with a 15-yard touchdown catch by Monterio Ursin, Riverdale had the ball at the Rams 5-yard line with an opportunity to make it a one score game.

But the Rams defense stood tall and forced a turnover-on-downs, and Carver responded with quarterback Izea Hurst hitting D’Quintez Wilson with a 64-yard pass to get his team out the shadow of its goal post. Four plays later, Major scored from 1 yard out to increase the Carver lead to 30-6.

Hurst completed 14 of his 19 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns, while Wilson had seven catches for 231 yards and two touchdowns, including three that went for 45 yards or more. Major added 17 carries for 82 yards and two scores.

“It’s all based on communication and discipline,” Wilson said. “Our line did a good job of blocking all night, and we keep getting better and better every week.”

After both teams failed to score on their opening possessions, the Rams (4-0, 1-0 in 9-4A) went on a 12-play, 79-yard scoring drive.

Facing a fourth-and-18, Hurst sailed a jump ball into the end zone that Wilson snatched for a 19-yard touchdown.

Hurst opened up the Rams’ next drive with a 48-yard pass to Wilson that set up Major for a 6-yard touchdown plunge four plays later to put Carver ahead 14-0 early in the second quarter.

After forcing a Riverdale fumble, Carver finished off the half with an 11-play, 59-yard drive that was capped off by a 5-yard touchdown run by Hurst that gave the Rams a 22-0 lead going into halftime.

“We needed to get (big plays) on third down a lot of times, and my offensive line did a good job of blocking,” Hurst said. “(Wilson) is one of my big receivers and I know he can go get it if I throw it up to him.”

The Rams head into their biggest test to date next week when they face the only other undefeated team in District 9-4A, McDonogh 35.

“We have to watch film tonight and correct our mistakes,” Carver coach Byron Addison said. “We have to keep doing what we’ve been doing — just worry about Carver and not anybody else.