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Rebels can clinch district title with win over Eagles

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / October 21, 1998

RESERVE – Riverside can clinch its second district title in three years with a victory Friday night at home against Ridgewood.

The Rebels, coming off a 21-16 victory last Friday over rival St. CharlesCatholic, is in first place in District 9-2A with a 2-0 record and are 7-0 overall. Riverside, ranked eighth in Class 2A, has defeated West St. Johnand St. Charles Catholic, given it the advantage in the head-to-headtiebreaker. The Rebels also hold the advantage in the points tiebreaker. “We need to stay focused,” Riverside coach Mickey Roussel said of coming off emotional games against Parkview Baptist, West St. John and St.Charles Catholic the past three weeks. It is a big game for us. A win wouldgive us the first-place seed. If we take care of business, we don’t have toworry about that (the tiebreakers).”Casey Remondet led the Rebels Friday with 110 yards on 17 carries, including a 58-yard touchdown run that broke open a scoreless game. Thesenior running back has now gained 711 yards and nine touchdowns on 117 attempts. He also caught four passes for 73 yards, including a 24-yardtouchdown, given him 11 total touchdowns on the season.

Joey Poirrier also had a solid game, completing 7-of-15 passes for 99 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted once. For the season, he hascompleted 44 of his 85 passes for 703 yards and six touchdowns. Hisfavorite receiver, Keith LeBlanc, caught one pass for 15 yards, given him 15 receptions for 376 yards and three touchdowns. LeBlanc also returned apunt 48 yards to set up the Rebels’ final score.

Ridgewood comes into the game a half-game back of the Rebels with a 1-0 record in district. The Eagles, 5-1 overall and ranked 20th in Class 2A, arecoming off a 21-7 victory against Ben Franklin in non-district play.

Ridgewood’s only loss this season came against Newman three weeks ago.

In Friday’s game, the Eagles were led by senior Jason Keyes who scored two touchdowns. Keyes is the top rusher in the metro area in Class 2Awith over 600 yards rushing and seven touchdowns.

Keith Champagne returns at quarterback from a team that went 6-5 last year and lost to Pope John Paul II in the bi-district playoffs. Up front, theEagles are led by tight end Chris Anderson, guard Armando Soza and tackle Josh Woolery.

The Ridgewood defense has been one of the major factors for the Eagles successful start, allowing just 55 points through six games.

That defense returns five starters, led by senior defensive backs Ryan Zimmerman and Eric Vinterella and junior linebacker Ben Hunter.

Defensive end David Jorden, noseguard Tony Perez and linebacker John Vititoe are the top newcomers.

In a close game, the Eagles might hold the advantage with senior placekicker Jonathan Ruffin, a definite college prospect.

“They are a good football team,” Roussel said. “They have good size andcoach Steve Stropolo does a great job with them. Defensively, they areaggressive and they have good special teams. There is a sense of urgencyfor them still having to play West St. John and St. Charles Catholic so theywill be coming in and giving us their best. It is going to be tough.”Riverside hosts L.B. Landry next week. Ridgewood travels to West St. John.

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