Monday Night Football: Rebels run over Rams
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Caesar lifts Riverside past West St. John for first time since ’01
By Billy Gomila
EDGARD – Monday night football is a rare occurrence in the River Parishes, and so is a Riverside victory over West St. John.
Still, the two events coincided this week as the Rebels defeated the Rams for the first time since 2001, 51-20.
Sophomore running back Jarid Caesar paced a Riverside attack that scorched the two time defending class-2A Rams (0-3) for 324 yards on the ground. Caesar rushed for 233 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries.
“That’s the first time I can remember giving up 50 points in our backyard since I’ve been here,” said West St. John head coach Laury Dupont.
With a 15-14 lead in the second quarter Caesar ripped off his first big play, reversing field on a run to his left and weaving 59 yards through the Ram defense to the 7-yard line. On the next play Riverside’s Andrew Herring cut up the middle on a counter play for the touchdown and Caesar’s two-point run gave the visiting Rebels a 23-14 lead and the points kept on coming.
After intercepting West St. John on the following possession, Caesar gave the Rebels even more momentum going into halftime by scoring from 29 yards out with 1:48 remaining in the half.
“Caesar and our offensive line were hitting on all cylinders,” Riverside head coach Mickey Roussel said. “I thought we really controlled the line of scrimmage.”
In the second half the Rebels continued to roll while the Rams regressed. After a West St. John three-and-out to open the third Riverside again drove for the score with Harring punching it in from 21-yards out.
On the next possession Riverside’s Tad Beck picked off Blaine Gautier to set up a 43-yard scoring sprint from Cesar. The extra point gave Riverside a 44-14 lead with 2:42 left in the quarter.
The Rams tacked on their final points on a seven-yard run by Josh Johnson but Riverside would pick up the game’s final touchdown on a nine-yard run by Caesar.
The first quarter was highlighted by a series of big plays. West St. John’s Daron Bartholmew broke a 71-yard run on the Rams’s first possession to set up an 8-yard touchdown from Olajuwon Hall to Tiarus Jenkins, but Riverside responded with a scoring drive of their own capped by a 25-yard pass from A.J. Delaneuville to Lee Haydell, who made a diving catch in the endzone.
Riverside took the lead 9-8 on a 26-yard field goal by Jordan Poirrier early in the second quarter and recovered a fumble on the Rams next possession to set up Caesar’s first score from 10 yards out. West St. John scored again on a nine-yard pass from Hall to Tyren Johnson before Caesar and Riverside put the game out of reach.
“We can’t stop anybody right now,” said a frustrated Dupont. “Until we stop some people on defense we aren’t going to win a game.”
Four turnovers and penalties (nine for 46 yards) killed the Rams, while Riverside’s offense clicked in all phases. Delaneuville completed 6-9 passes for 109 yards, and Roussel received rushing contributions from Harring (48 yards) and David Mabile (20 yards). Haydell led with team with 73 yards on two receptions, while Caesar added another 21 yards on two catches.
“We are by no means one dimensional but (Caesar)’s the battery,” said the coach, who’s team will travel to take on St. John of Plaquemine this Friday. “We have a lot of acid to go with that battery though.”
Bartholmew led the Rams with 96 yards on the ground, while the team completed 12-26 for 201 yards in the air. Next up for West St. John is a trip across the river to take on St. Charles Catholic.