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Rebels quick strike Comets

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 19, 1998

RESERVE – Riverside coach Mickey Roussel’s first words after the Rebels 21-16 victory over St. Charles Catholic Friday night said it all – “Youcertainly got your money’s worth.”Riverside scored three touchdowns in a 2:30 span of the third quarter and then withstood a late explosion by the Comets to gain their seventh straight victory in the season. Riverside improved to 7-0 overall and 2-0in District 9-2A while St. Charles Catholic fell to 3-4 and 0-1.”It puts us in the driver’s seat,” Riverside quarterback Joey Poirrier said of the importance of the game. “Our backs are not against the wall. We arein first place by ourselves.”The Rebels defense had its backs against the wall early in the third quarter with the game still scoreless. St. Charles Catholic opened its firstdrive of the second half on its own 44-yard line. Josh Schexnayder sweptleft for 6 yards and Nick Monica picked up the first down with a 9-yard gain on a keeper up the middle. Monica then faked a handoff and hit JohnPrice on a wide receiver screen for 18 yards down the left sidelines.

Monica kept the drive alive three plays later by rolling out and hitting Julian ward for a 10-yard gain on third-and-7 from the Riverside 23.

Schexnayder followed with a 1-yard gain and Ward and Wayne Stein carried for gains of 4 yards. But for the second week in a row, the Rebeldefense came up with a critical goal line stand, stopping Stein inches short of the first down at the 4-yard line.

Casey Remondet got the Rebels out of trouble with a 9-yard gain and carried twice more for nine yards. After a 14-yard sweep by BrittWaguespack and two 3-yard runs by Remondet, the Rebels faced third-and- 4 from their 42-yard line. Remondet took the handoff, broke through theline and outraced Price and Christian Panquerne for the score. Kaleb Mayesadded the extra point, giving the Rebels a 7-0 lead with 2:38 left in the quarter.

The Rebels defense came up with another big play after the Comets took over at their 35 when Mayes’ kickoff went out-of-bounds. On the firstplay, Rhett Vicknair sacked Monica from behind, causing a fumble. RanneyWilson chased down the ball at the 10-yard line and ran it in, increasing the lead to 14-0 with 2:25 left in the quarter.

Riverside stopped the Comets on their ensuing possession and Price came in to boom a 40-yard punt. Keith LeBlanc took the punt at his 29-yard line,got a crushing block from Dustin Zimmer and returned the ball down the left sidelines 48 yards to the St. Charles catholic 24-yard line. Poirrierquickly took advantage of the field position, hitting Remondet over the middle for a 24-yard score. Mayes’ extra point made it 21-0 with eightseconds left to play in the quarter.

The Comets were stunned by the turnaround of events but quickly recovered on their next possession. Schexnayder picked up 12 yards on amisdirection and Stein swept left for 8 yards. Two plays later, Monicaconnected with Matt Weber for a 12-yard gain to the Riverside 39-yard line.

Facing a fourth-and-4 from the 33, Monica rolled out and hit Ward on the right sidelines for a 30-yard gain to the 3. Again the Rebels defense held,stopping Doug Friloux for a 3-yard loss. On fourth down from the 3, Monica hit Schexnayder on the left side. But BradDelaneuville came up and made the stop at the one.

St. Charles Catholic got on the scoreboard three plays later as an illegalblock was called against the Rebels in the end zone. The safety cut thedeficit to 21-2 with 4:52 left in the game.

The Comets went right to work after receiving the free kick at its 42.

Monica connected with Schexnayder for 8 yards and came back to find Price for 9 more yards. Two plays later, it would be Weber gathering in a13-yard pass to the 28-yard line. Stein then swept around left end andwent down the sidelines for the score. Panquerne’s extra point made it21-9 with 2:42 left on the clock.

LeBlanc recovered the onsides kick at his 48-yard line but the Rebels could not run out the clock and were forced to punt. Stein took RonnieMason’s punt on the left sidelines at the 10, swept around the wedge to the right and took off down the right sidelines for the 90-yard score.

Panquerne’s extra point brought the Comets to 21-16 with 1:11 remaining.

St. Charles Catholic had one last shot but LeBlanc again recovered theonsides kick. Poirrier then kneeled twice to run out the clock.”You are not going to stop everybody cold at the middle of the field,” Roussel said of the defensive effort. “You have got to make the majority of the plays deep in your territory and we have been doing that all year.

When you play defense like we are now and make plays, you are going to get where you want to be.”The game was as even on the stat sheet as it was on the scoreboard. St.Charles Catholic had 246 yards in total offense while Riverside gained 244 yards.

Poirrier completed 7-of-15 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown.

Remondet ran 17 times for 110 yards and caught four passes for 73 yards and a score.

Monica finished with 15 completions in 18 attempts for 131 yards. Pricehad six catches for 51 yards. In addition to his punt return, Stein ran 18times for 72 yards and a touchdown.

Defenses controlled the first half. On its second possession of the game,St. Charles Catholic drove to the Riverside 33-yard line on a 18-yard passfrom Monica to Price and a 7-yard run by Stein. But the Rebels twicestacked up Stein a yard from the first down marker, turning the ball over to Riverside.

The Comets got the ball back as Josh Gonzales intercepted a Poirrier pass near midfield and returned it to the Riverside 34-yard line. Monica pickedup a first down by the nose of the football on fourth down from the 25.

Riverside then held as the second quarter opened, forcing a 34-yard field goal by Panquerne that sailed wide right.

Riverside took over at its 20 and began a 17-play drive that would eat up 7:30 of the clock. On third-and-8 from the 22, Poirrier drew the Comets inand then threw a screen pass to Remondet on the left side for a 35-yard gain.

Runs by Remondet, Poirrier and Brandon Delaneuville gave the Rebels a first down at the St. Charles Catholic 19-yard line.After a clipping penalty pushed the Rebels back to the 31, Poirrier first found LeBlanc for 15 yards and then came back to connect with Remondet for 9 yards for a first down at the 7. This time it would be the Comets’turn to hold with Panquerne tipping away Poirrier’s pass into the end zone.

Penalties would stymie the teams on their next possessions and the game went into the half scoreless.

Riverside can all but wrap up the district title next Friday when it hosts Ridgewood.St. Charles Catholic faces another cross-parish rival when itshosts West St. John.

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