L’Observateur River Parishes Team of the Week

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 10, 2005

Riverside’s win over St. James crucial for district title chase


Contributing Writer

RESERVE – It’s always tough to gauge how a football team will respond to change. Even the smallest change to a team’s routine during the week can have an effect on Friday night.

Such was the case with Riverside a week ago when the Rebels lost their first game of the season to St. John of Plaquemine, 27-20. Head coach Mickey Roussel believed an abbreviated week due to playing on Monday night following Hurricane Rita, affect his team’s preparation.

This week, with the regular routine back in place the Rebels (4-1, 1-0 in district 10-2A) responded by pounding on district rival St. James, 29-19 and earning them the L’Observateur’s Team of the Week honor.

“Last week was so tough on us,” said the coach. “We beat West St. John and we got rewarded with three days of practice. And then we didn’t play well and we lost, and part of that was due to St. John of Plaquemine, but we definitely weren’t totally in it that night.”

The St. James game served as a pretty effective turnaround, as the Rebels held the Wildcats oft-affective wing-T offense to a mere 147 rushing yards on 50 attempts. St. James quarterback Antonio Phillips was no more affective through the air, completing only three of 12 attempts for 28 yards, with two interceptions. It also helped that the Wildcats committed 11 penalties for 106 yards on the night.

“We played with a short field a lot and we took advantage,” said Roussel. “The thing we didn’t want to do is give up the big play and we didn’t do that tonight.”

While the Rebel defense was shutting down the competition, Riverside’s spread offensive attack picked up 214 yards on the ground, including 185 from star sophomore running back Jarid Caesar, who also scored three touchdowns. Senior quarterback A.J. Delaneuville failed to complete a pass in three attempts but rushed for 21 yards on six carries, including a 14-yarder that set up Caesar’s second touchdown in the third quarter.

The victory was doubly important for the Rebels due to being a district win. It sets up Riverside for its final four games, three of which will be on the road. The only home game for the remainder of the 2005 season will be a Oct. 21 showdown with 10-2A newcomer and perennial state powerhouse John Curtis.

“It’s definitely a little sweeter this being a district win,” Roussel said.