Turnovers sink Rebels at Newman

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 10, 2009



Five turnovers proved costly to Riverside on Friday night as the Rebels fell at Newman in a game to determine third place in District 9-2A, 35-27.

Nonetheless, each team will advance to the Class 2A playoffs.

Riverside quarterback Darnell Rachal totaled 321 yards of total offense (24-188 rushing) and three total touchdowns, but also accounted for five turnovers in the loss.

Austin Vicknair hauled in four passes for 89 yards and two scores for Riverside (6-4, 4-3).

LSU commitment Ronnie Vinson scored four times, including once on defense, to lead the Greenies (8-2, 5-2).

The Rebels gained 462 total yards on the night, to 292 for Newman.

“We did everything we needed to do to win,” said Riverside coach Mickey Roussel. “But if you give a team like Newman five extra chances, you probably aren’t going to win.”

Riverside had chances to take the lead late. The first came after Bryan Abadie secured an interception – RA drew within one, 28-27, on a 22-yard Rachal run in the fourth quarter. But the two-point conversion attempt failed.

In the final minute of play, Newman linebacker Will Fischer intercepted Rachal and returned it for a touchdown. The Rebels could have had the score called back via penalty, but declined in order to have a chance to get the ball back with 35 seconds remaining.

Riverside drove down to the Greenies 20, but simply lacked the time to finish the drive.

Riverside took a 7-0 lead in the first half when Jake Roussel capped a 68-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run.

That lead looked like it would stand to halftime.

But Newman tied the game when Rachal lost a fumble with under a minute left in the first half. Vinson recovered and returned it 35 yards for a score.

“We gave them momentum going into halftime,” said Roussel.

The Rebels reestablished the lead when Rachal hooked up with Vicknair for a 52-yard touchdown, making it 14-7 in the third quarter.

Then Vinson got rolling.

He’d score the next three touchdowns of the game on runs of 66, 13 and 49 yards, giving Newman a 28-14 advantage in the fourth quarter.

Riverside drew within seven on Vicknair’s second score, a 27-yard reception from Rachal.

“He’s really becoming a good wide receiver for us,” said Roussel.

Lloyd Johnson rushed eight times for 69 yards for Riverside. Thomas Crouch added 67 yards on nine carries.