Rebels struggle in scrimmage against state champion Hurricanes

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Sports Editor

Riverside Coach Tim Taffi figured team was in for a trial by fire on Thursday, as Class 1A champion South Plaquemine visited the Rebels for a preseason scrimmage.

 “They’re one of the best teams in the state, regardless of classification,” Taffi says.

So it wasn’t a surprise to him when his young Rebel team struggled mightily against a Hurricanes team widely favored to successfully defend its crown in 2008.

But it did get the Rebel starters – particularly, the less experienced ones —some playing time against an elite opponent.

“Their team speed really presented problems for us,” said Taffi. “They’re also extremely physical. Some of our younger guys stepping into starting roles for the first time haven’t seen that before.”

“It’s tough to duplicate that violence, that speed. Needless to say, we struggled.”

The Hurricanes’ aggressive, blitzing defensive scheme severely limited the Rebel offense. Taffi was able to glean some bright spots from it, though.

“In a few brief spots, we were able to move the ball a little bit,” he said. “I thought Jake Roussel ran hard for us. He looked pretty good.”

Taffi said that because South Plaquemine’s defensive efforts made it virtually impossible to pass the ball, Riverside kept the ball on the ground, between the tackles.

“It didn’t leave us with many options. We moved it a bit, but every few plays, they’re gonna get you, and drop you for a loss.”