Rebels, Rams face familiar opponents in quarterfinals

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 25, 1998

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 25, 1998

RESERVE – Riverside and West St. John will see familiar faces as theyenter the quarterfinal playoffs this Friday night.

No. 7-ranked Riverside hosts No. 2-ranked Newman and Eli Manning in abattle of undefeated teams at 7 p.m. The Rebels (12-0) and the Greenies(11-0) played in the same district from 1993-97.

In their last meeting in 1996, Riverside defeated Newman, 7-0, to capture the district title. The Rebels sacked Manning six times and held theGreenies to 22 yards rushing. Manning did pass for 201 yards in the game.Travis Bourgeois got the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.

While that was two years ago and many of the players that played in that have graduated, fans should still expect a close, tense game.

That is something neither team has experienced in the playoffs. Riversideopened the postseason with 50-8 and 23-0 wins over Springfield and Pope John Paul, respectively. Newman has defeated Ridgewood, 30-14, and Iota,46-20.

In Riverside’s win Friday night, the Rebels overcame three turnovers in the first half as the defense stopped Pope John Paul each time. The Rebelsdefense held the Jaguars to 145 total yards, 48 on the ground.

Joey Poirrier led the offense, passing for 104 yards and two scores and adding a touchdown on the ground. The Rebels broke open the game with 13points in the fourth quarter.

Newman actually trailed Iota, 14-11, at the end of the first quarter but took the lead for good in the second. Manning passed for 317 yards andthree touchdowns as the Greenies rolled up 457 yards in total offense.

Manning was the leading passer in the metro area in Class 2A during the regular season, throwing for close to 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns.

But the Greenies are not all about the son of Archie and the brother of Peyton. Joining Manning in the backfield is senior running back JustinSeale who gained 139 yards in the win over Iota.

Manning’s favorite targets are Merrick Egan and Will Walter.

Egan caught four passes for 118 yards against Newman and had 21 receptions for 479 yards and six scores in the regular season. Walter had506 yards and eight touchdowns on 28 catches.

The line is led by Nehemiah Katz, a 6-6, 340-pounder.

On defense, the Greenies are led by senior lineman Adam Biderman. JoiningBiderman are linebackers Michael Hecker and Michael McClave and defensive backs Walter and Brandon Berger.

Friday’s winner plays either No. 1-ranked Oak Grove or Clinton in thesemifinals.

EDGARD – West St. John is also familiar with its opponent. The Rams (9-3), ranked 10th, travel westward to Vinton to take on the third-ranked Lions (11-0).

West St. John defeated Vinton, 20-7, in the regionals last season asJoseph Gross rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

West St. John is coming off a 22-19 victory over Loranger in a wildregional game last Friday. The game saw the lights at West St. JohnStadium go out four times and the Rams had to withstand a late Loranger rally for the victory.

West St. John gained 188 yards in offense, led by Dehaven Duronslet whohad 81 yards on 14 carries. Jamar Bailey added 55 yards on 11 carries.Carl Gauthier passed for 63 yards on four completions. The defenseallowed 277 yards but held Loranger to just 59 yards through the air.

Vinton captured the District 4-2A title this season. The Lions opened theplayoffs with a 20-3 victory over Teurlings and defeated Port Barre, 26- 15, last week.

Against Port Barre, Josh Breaux threw for 174 yards and three touchdowns. Brandon Payne added 83 yards and a touchdown on 19 rushingattempts. Port Barre was held to 169 total yards and lost three fumbles.The Lions are a typical north Louisiana team, running out of the wing-T, a formation the Rams should be familiar with having played St. James,Ridgewood and Riverside this season.

Friday’s winner plays the winner of the Loyola-South Cameron game next Friday in the semifinals.

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