Rebels lose heartbreaker to North Vermilion

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 14, 2009

It was all about heartbreak for Riverside Friday night.

What looked to be shaping up as a sensational comeback turned sour when the Rebels lost a fumble with 13 seconds left in their game with North Vermilion, allowing the Patriots to escape with a 13-12 victory on a rainy night in Reserve.

Riverside trailed by that score for most of the second half, but finally found its groove on its final drive of the game. With 2:41 left, Riverside quarterback Darnell Rachal led a Rebel drive from his team’s own 30 to the North Vermilion 9, highlighted by a 25-yard pass from he to Austin Vicknair that set the Rebels up at the North Vermilion 9 with time ticking down.

But a fumble on the next snap — presumably one the Rebels would have spiked the ball on — went North Vermilion’s way.

“We thought the ref blew the whistle,” said Rachal. “I pulled out from under the center. I looked over, and he had snapped the ball. We thought it was a dead ball.”

Said Riverside coach Mickey Roussel: “We shouldn’t have even been in that situation. We made far too many mistakes.”

Rachal completed touchdown passes to Vicknair and Lloyd Johnson in the first half, as the Rebels built a 12-0 lead.

More detailed coverage will be in Wednesday’s edition of L’Observateur.