Rebels, Rams not looking past first round

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 10, 1999

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 10, 1999

RESERVE – Riverside opens the playoffs against one of the surprising teams in Class 2A this season.

Jonesboro-Hodge went 2-8 last season and opened this season at 1-4. Butthe Tigers have come on as of late, winning four of their last five games to finish at 5-5.

Riverside will be looking to end that streak when the Tigers visit Reserve Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.Riverside closed out the regular season with a commanding 35-7 victory Friday night at Fisher, improving to 9-1 overall and 5-1 in District 9-2A.

The Rebels rolled up 504 yards in offense, 351 on the ground. CaseyRemondet rushed for 156 yards and two touchdowns, including a 95- yarder, on eight carries, all in the first half, improving his season totals to 1,078 yards and 14 touchdowns. Brandon Delaneuville chipped in with66 yards on five carries. Twelve Rebels got to carry the ball in the game.Damian Melancon (6-of-8, 73 yards) and Michael Schoen (6-of-9, 80 yards) helped the Rebels pass for over 150 yards. Seven receivers caught balls,led by Jeff Roccaforte with two catches for 44 yards.

Riverside held Fisher to 196 yards, 78 on the ground.

Jonesboro-Hodge is coming off a 36-14 victory over Lake Providence. TheTigers are led by junior quarterback Riccardoa Mills, a good athlete.

Fullback Neeco Shine has good speed and is joined in the backfield by tailback Tabari Qualls. The team has good size up front, led by seniorlineman Eric Smith (6-4, 270). Tight end Raydario Hassen and widereceiver Fred Wimberly are two go-to players.

On defense, Jonesboro-Hodge plays a 50 similar to Riverside. DeomCottonham, who plays both linebacker and fullback, and LB/C Aundra Spence lead the squad.

Riverside coach Mickey Roussel is hoping that the fact that the Rebels are home and their playoff experience will give his team the advantage.

“But no matter who you play, it’s the teams that don’t burn out and are still having fun that move on,” Roussel said. “If we take care of business,we will give ourselves a chance.”The winner plays the winner of the West St. John-St. Helena game nextweek in the regional playoffs.

West St. John-St. Helena

EDGARD – For the second straight season, West St. John faces a tough drawin the first round of the playoffs.

Last year, the Rams got by Christian Life in bi-district on their way to the Class 2A state championship. This year, West St. John hosts a St. Helenateam that is 6-4 but according to Rams coach Laury Dupont, could easily be 8-2 or 9-1.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Sugar Dome.St. Helena finished the season in third place in District 7-2A behindChristian Life and Clinton with a 4-2 record. The Hawks scored 33 pointsin the second half against University last week, rallying from a 20-8 halftime deficit to win, 41-26. The victory clinched the Hawks’ first everwinning season.

Greg Johnson rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown in the game, giving him 1,093 yards and eight touchdowns for the season. Jarizoski Lee passedfor 245 yards and three touchdowns to lead a balanced attack. The seniorcompleted the season with 1,816 yards and 21 touchdowns through the air.

One of his favorite targets, Dentory Lee, caught four passes for 134 yards.

Roderick Lee, who had 36 catches for 821 yards and 12 touchdowns going into the game, ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. TheHawks were held to under 26 points just once and that was in rainstorm.

“Their quarterback has been called Randall Cunningham and their receiver has been called Randy Moss,” Dupont said. “They have some excellent skillpeople. They run a 4-3 defense and they get right after you. These guys canplay.”That 4-3 defense is led by Roderick Lee at safety. Also returning arelinemen Marcus Wells, Damin Addison and Roderick Selders and linebackers Michael Zanders, Trevor Addison and Chad Womack. The teamhas had a problem with its kicking game and with penalties and turnovers this season.

West St. John (7-2 overall, 4-2 in District 9-2A) is coming off a bye week.Carl Gauthier finished the season with 1,854 yards and 22 touchdowns through the air. Brian Lumar had 43 of those catches for 679 yards and sixtouchdowns.

The Rams have the advantage of playing at home and playoff experience but Dupont knows this could be a rough one.

“They got some studs,” Dupont said of St. Helena. We are going to have toplay a good football game. We are going to have to play like we are capableof playing. It’s going to be a tough game for us.”The winner advances to play the winner of the Riverside-Jonesboro-Hodge game next week in the regionals.

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