Rachal’s three touchdowns lead Rebels past Brusly

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 22, 2009



Quarterback Darnell Rachal scored three rushing touchdowns on Friday night to lead Riverside to a 22-13 win over visiting Brusly in Reserve.

It was the last non-district game for the Rebels (2-1), who open district play at home on Friday against Fisher.

Riverside coach Mickey Roussel said that his team executed well on both sides of the ball, but noted some areas needing attention, specifically in terms of finishing drives.

“It was a great win for us,” said Roussel. “Offensively, I’ve felt that this team has a chance to really be good. I felt like we left points out there – we dropped some touchdown passes – to where me maybe could have scored 30 or 40. We shot ourselves in the foot in the redzone, so we need to shore that up.”

But there was little else to quibble with considering the Rebels performance against a big, physical Panther team. Riverside (2-1) outrushed Brusly (1-2) 232-120, and won the giveaway-takeaway battle by forcing three Panther turnovers, while committing none of its own.

“I think they expected more than 120 yards on the ground,” said Roussel.

“Our kids held their position defensively and made them pass it. They had some skills kids that really concerned me.

“We gave up one big pass play – and maybe that’s one too many – but overall it was a solid effort by everyone.”

Rachal led the Rebel charge on the ground with 154 yards. Running back Thomas Crouch complimented him with 72 yards of his own.

“Those are two special kids,” said Roussel. “To run like that against a big, physical Brusly team, you’ve got to credit their toughness. We look to spread it out, make you match up with 11, and they make things happen.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Riverside went ahead 2-0 after a safety, then 8-0 on Rachal’s first rushing score of the day.

Brusly struck back before halftime on Marlon Reed’s 71-yard scoring strike to Colby Craig, making it 8-6.

Rachal pulled Riverside ahead 15-6 on a 15-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Reed answered, his own keeper scoring from 25-yards to make it 15-13.

But in the fourth quarter, Rachal made his biggest run of the night, a 47-yard scoring run that made it a nine point Rebel lead, and the defense held from there.

The win helped wash away feelings of disappointment from Riverside’s heartbreaking home loss to North Vermilion a week prior.

“None of us felt good about that one,” said Roussel. “It left a bad taste in our mouths all week. I think we fed off of that.

“And we finally had a week of practice where we had pretty much full personnel, without sicknesses or other things being an issue.

“We had kind of a piecemeal thing going for awhile. I think having everyone back, Monday through Thursday, had something to do with our performance on Friday.”