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Riverside faces familiar opponent in University

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / September 9, 1998

RESERVE – The Riverside Rebels know this week’s opponent all too well.

The Rebels travel to Baton Rouge to face University, a team that handed the Rebels two of their five losses last season. The second eliminated theRebels from the bi-district playoffs.

But while many of the same faces remain for Riverside, this is a different Riverside team than the one the Cubs saw last season. While last year’steam had to deal with a number of injuries and distractions away from the field, this year’s version is more healthy and focused on the business at hand.

Also new is the offense. The Rebels switched to the wing-T this seasonand the move has already paid dividend. Riverside rolled to 400 yards intotal offense in its season-opening 53-14 victory at White Castle. JoeyPoirrier passed for 136 yards and a touchdown. Britt Waguespack scoredthree touchdowns and Rusty Richard had two. Brandon Delaneuville ran theball 10 times for 92 yards.

The Riverside defense stepped up as well, forcing four fumbles a recovering three. And while White Castle ran for 290 yards, the Rebelslimited the Bulldogs to 34 yards passing.

University, which had been ranked ninth in the state, was not as fortunate, losing to eighth-ranked Port Barre, 27-26. Port Barre jumped out to a 24-6 lead before withstanding a second-half charge by the Cubs.

University was led by running back Ahmad Harris. Harris carried the ball15 times for 166 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Harris also returned a fumble 45 yards for another score. As awide receiver last season, Harris averaged 20.8 yards per reception andscored four touchdowns.

Harris is only one of three offensive starters and one of two defensive starters returning for the Cubs. The offensive line is led by senior JoshLanglois. The Cubs also have a new coach as Dennis Lorio begins his firstseason at the helm.

The first game between the two teams last year was marked by turnovers.

Riverside jumped on the scoreboard first on a run by Casey Remondet but the Cubs took advantage of three Rebel turnovers to take a 28-7 first half lead. Riverside rallied behind touchdown runs by Remondet and TravisBourgeois but University stopped the Rebels on a fourth-and-one on their final drive and ran out the clock for the 28-21 victory.

In the playoff game, Marcus Etienne rushed for 161 yards and scored on 80 and one-yard runs to lead the Cubs to a 34-20 victory.

Riverside hosts Varnado in its homecoming game Friday while University stays at home to play Newman.

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