Rachal leads Riverside past Winnfield

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 21, 2009

Riverside erased a 14-7 second half deficit to score two fourth quarter touchdowns and advance in the Class 2A state playoffs Friday night with a 21-14 regional round victory over No. 9 seed Winnfield in Reserve.

The 25th seeded Rebels advance and will travel to play top seeded John Curtis next Friday night.

Riverside’s Darnell Rachal ran for three touchdowns and a two-point conversion to lead the Rebels.

Winnfield seemed to be taking control with 2:35 left in the third quarter after capping a 10-play drive with quarterback Alonzo Moore’s 3-yard touchdown run. That made it 14-7.

The Rebels fired back on their ensuing drive though, cashing in on perhaps the play of the night, a 41-yard, tackle breaking, jitterbugging run by Rachal that ended with a successful dive for the pylon. But C.J. Edler’s extra point was wide, leaving RA trailing by one.

It wouldn’t matter. After stopping a Winnfield drive into RA territory on fourth down, the Rebels took over on their own 30. Thomas Crouch ripped off a 52-yard run on first down. Five plays later, Rachal plowed in from a yard out, then added the two-point conversion on a run to seal the seven-point difference.

For more information, see L’Observateur’s Wednesday edition.