Rebels run to victory in quarterfinals

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 24, 2000

MICHAEL KIRAL / L’Observateur / November 24, 2000

RESERVE – Riverside went into Friday night’s Class 2A state quarterfinal game against St. Thomas Aquinas with two goals in mind – running thefootball and stopping the run.

Mission accomplished on both fronts.

Riverside ran for 244 yards and held St. Thomas Aquinas to 117 yards,advancing to the semifinals with a 41-7 victory.

It will be the second trip to the semifinals in the past three years for the Rebels. Riverside (13-0) will play the winner of Farmerville and Ferriday nextFriday. St. Thomas Aquinas finished its season at 11-2.Britt Waguespack led Riverside’s rushing attack with 116 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Damian Melancon ran for 64 yards and twotouchdowns on nine attempts, all in the first half. Brandon Delaneuville added49 yards and a touchdown on nine carries.

Melancon also completed nine of his 13 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. Gary Entremont had eight of them for 125 yards and atouchdown.

Riverside held Byron Robertson, the state’s scoring leader, to 93 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Kyle Ryan had 19 yards on 11 attempts. ButchRoussell completed 2-of-3 passes for 22 yards. The Falcons were held to139 total yards in offense.

Riverside dominated the first half, out-gaining the Falcons, 328-93. TheRebels ran 45 plays from scrimmage while the Falcons managed just 18.

Riverside took the opening kickoff and drove right down the field, going 80 yards in 14 plays. Delaneuville took an option pitch around the right sided for14 yards and Waguespack followed with a 11-yard run up the middle for a first down at the Falcon 33. Five plays later, Melancon kept on an optionaround the left side for a first down at the 12.

Melancon kept on another option around the left side for three yards, keeping the drive alive on fourth-and-three from the 5. He then capped thedrive, diving up the middle from two yards out for the score. The try for twofailed, making it 6-0 with 5:21 left in the first quarter.

Riverside held and took over again at its 37. Eight plays later, the Rebelswere back in the end zone, courtesy of a 5-yard run off left tackle by Delaneuville. The Rebels drove down the field via the pass this time asMelancon hit Entremont for gains of 11 and 10 yards to the Falcon 40.

After Waguespack went up the middle for 15 yards, Melancon found Jeff Roccaforte in the left flat for 15 yards to the five. Melancon would throwacross the field to Jared St. Amant in the left corner of the end zone for thetwo-point conversion, making it 14-0 with 2:07 left in the opening quarter.

St. Thomas Aquinas got a break on Riverside’s next possession as Melanconfumbled going back to pass with Paul Genco recovering for the Falcons at the Rebels’ 28 and returning it to the 16. On the next play, Robertson sweptright, broke a tackle on the sidelines and took it in for the score. That runmatched the Falcons’ offensive total to that point. Brad McKee added theextra point to cut the deficit to 14-7 with 11:43 remaining in the half.

Riverside answered on its next possession, going 63 yards in five plays.

Melancon had the big run, a 39-yard carry on an option keeper. Robertsoncaught Melancon from behind at the 41 but grabbed his face mask doing so, giving the Rebels a first down at the Falcon 26. On the next play,Waguespack went up the middle for 10 yards to the 16. Two plays later,Melancon kept again on an option, cutting through the line from 15 yards out for the score. Blake Torres added the extra point, building the lead back to21-7 with 9:51 left in the half.

Riverside pieced together one more scoring drive late in the half, going 77 yards in 10 plays. A 10-yard run by Waguespack off the right side kept thedrive alive on third down at the 25. Three plays later, Melancon hit Entremonton the right side. Entremont spun out of a tackle and went down the sidelinesfor 36 yards to the 18. Four plays later from the four, it was Entremontagain, making a diving catch of a Melancon pass in the right side of the end zone. Torres again came in to hit the extra point, making it 28-7 with 21seconds left in the half.

St. Thomas Aquinas tried a fake punt from its own five on its firstpossession of the second half but Robertson was stopped at the 14 on fourth-and-21. Riverside immediately took advantage of the field position asWaguespack took a handoff on the first play and went off the right side for the score. Torres’ extra point made it 35-7 with 9:40 left in the thirdquarter.

Riverside had its first punt of the game with 5:07 left in the quarter. Threeplays later, it was the Rebels’ defense’s turn to get on the scoreboard. AllenWaddell, who had come in to replace Roussell, had his pass deflect off Steve Tallo into the hands of Joel Levin at the 35. Levin took it down the sidelines,getting in for the score. Torres’ extra point was partially blocked, leaving thescore at 41-7 with 3:42 left in the third quarter.

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