Grace King bests Rebels
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2008
By RYAN ARENA
Grace King’s Max Parish accounted for the only score as the Fighting Irish toppled host Riverside in the teams’ spring scrimmage on Friday, 6-0.
Parish scored from five yards away, a run set up by his own long run to the Rebels’ 10-yard line moments earlier.
Riverside moved the ball well for most of the day, controlling possession via the running game. But turnovers doomed the Rebels offense, which fumbled five times in the game overall.
“Most of that was my fault,” said Riverside quarterback Bobby Smith, who converted from wide receiver to quarterback this spring. “My teammates were doing a great job. If I get the ball cleanly, we score every time.”
Riverside coach Tim Taffi said that while the turnovers were a bit of a concern, he thinks the offense should be fine.
“(Smith) hasn’t taken snaps before from center. He was thrown into the fire,” said Taffi. “I’m sure for some of these guys there were butterflies. But that’s expected. As we progress, it will diminish.”
Taffi had no issues with the defensive play though, which remained stout all day. The Rebel defense allowed only two first downs in the scrimmage.
“We shut them down for most of the day,” said Taffi. “Besides one busted play, we were able to keep them out of the endzone.”
Smith and Jordan Rebaldo each stood out defensively. Rebaldo’s had a clean shot through the offensive line and made it count early on, recording a big hit and a sack to stop a Grace King drive.
Smith’s interception later in the first half was followed by a long return, but a holding penalty on the run back negated the extra yardage.
For Smith, a playmaker at receiver a year ago for the Rebels, his team will need more plays just like that one on both sides of the ball.
“It was exciting,” Smith said of his first game under center. “I think we did pretty well. We’ve been doing it for three weeks, and I think we’ll get everything down eventually.”
Taffi was encouraged by some aspects, but reiterated that his team has work to do this summer.
“We’ve got to get a lot better, and faster, to compete in our district,” he said.