Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009



Despite a game effort by Riverside’s defense, John Curtis extended its state-best winning streak to 19 games with a 33-3 victory Friday night in a District 9-2A game at Muss Bertolino Stadium.

Curtis’ Jordan Hanberry intercepted Riverside quarterback Darnell Rachal twice and returned each for a score in the victory.

The Rebels (4-2, 2-1)) held Curtis (5-0, 3-0)) to 158 total yards, but Riverside could conversely only muster 114 against the stout Patriots defense. Each team forced turnovers – Riverside turned it over four times, while Curtis did so thrice.

“I’m extremely proud of our defense. We felt like if we attacked the veer, and made them pitch the ball – they’d rather not do that – we could force some mistakes. We wanted to force them away from their strength. And they completed only two of eight passes, so the secondary played well.

“At the same time, we can’t afford to give up 14 points directly off of turnovers. We passed it pretty well, but the interceptions hurt.”

Curtis scored on its first possession when Torrey Pierce got loose for a 19-yard touchdown run, making it 6-0 in the first quarter.

The lead grew to 12-0 when Hanberry intercepted Rachal on Riverside’s ensuing possession and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown. Dex Thibodaux made it 14-0 with a two—point conversion run.

“Right off the bat, we’re down 14-0,” said Roussel. “It makes things difficult.”

Thibodaux’s first touchdown of the game midway through the second quarter made it 21-0 in favor of Curtis.

Riverside pushed back before halftime. Cody Warner recovered a Patriots’ fumble in Curtis territory, and C.J. Edler would boot a 39-yard field goal to get Riverside on the board.

A mishandled snap on a Curtis punt attempt gave Riverside a chance to cut into the lead again before halftime, as the Rebels took over inside the Patriot 30.

It briefly seemed like Riverside might make a game of it when Rachal hit Dylan Martin for what looked like a 21-yard touchdown.

But a holding call negated it, and Curtis took a 21-3 lead into the locker room.

“That killed us,” said Roussel. “We went from 21-10 to 21-3.

“Knocked the wind out of us.”

Curtis would tack on scores in each of the third and fourth quarters, first on Hanberry’s 40-yard interception return, then on Pierce’s second touchdown of the night on a 53-yard run.

The Rebels passes for 115 yards in the game, but mustered no rushing yards.

“We couldn’t get a running game going at all,” said Roussel. “They made us one dimensional.”