Rebels suffer first defeat

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Staff Reporter

RESERVE-Riverside may have jumped on top early, opening the game with a 70-yard, touchdown-scoring drive. But they couldn’t contain the explosive special teams unit of St. John who had two outstanding kickoff returns, two onside kick recoveries and a forced safety in their 47-26 victory over the Rebels on Friday night.

The Rebels came out strong on their first drive, moving the ball 70 yards down the field to put them up 7-0 on the strength of a Jarid Caesar touchdown run. Caesar picked up three rushing touchdowns on the night contributing to Riverside’s 277 yards on the ground.

However, the Rebels gave up a safety on their next possession as the snap on the punt sailed over the head of Jesse LeBlanc and through the end zone.

On the ensuing kickoff, St. John’s Guy Morgan returned the ball 62 yards down to the Riverside nine yardline to set up a Roddarick Jones touchdown run on first down. After a blocked PAT, the score favored the Eagles 8-7 with 2:59 left in the first quarter.

A short time later, a Galen Johnson 20-yard touchdown scramble put the Eagles up 15-7 after the PAT.

On the Rebels’ next possession, Caesar found the end zone again to cap off a nine play, 65-yard drive with 4:35 left in the first half. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful and the Rebels now trailed 15-13.

The momentum was immediately stripped away from the Rebels as Spenser Williams brought back Riverside’s kickoff 80 yards for another St. John touchdown making it 21-13 after a failed PAT.

&#8220We had a little momentum early on,” said Riverside Head Coach Mickey Roussel. &#8220But we let them back in with the kickoff return.”

Rebels quarterback Jade Falgoust tried to get his team rolling on the next drive, but was picked off by Trent Willis on second down.

The interception set up another Eagle touchdown as Johnson connected with Shelby Hemenway on a 14-yard pass to the corner of the end zone with under a minute left in the second quarter. The Eagles would go into halftime with a 27-13 lead.

St. John got to work early in the second half scoring on the second play of the third quarter. Johnson and Willis hooked up on a 68-yard, touchdown pass stretching the lead to 34-13 after the PAT.

But Riverside refused to give up and put together another long drive and scored on an option to Caesar allowing his team to stick around 34-20.

Eagles’ Chet Sharon pounded his way into the end zone from one yard out to start off the fourth quarter. After a missed PAT, St. John led 40-20.

&#8220I think the bottom line is that they were better up front than we were,” said Roussel. &#8220They’ve got some talent. They’re not the defending 1A State Runner-up for nothing.”

Next week the Rebels will be traveling to St. James for a their first district game of the season.