No. 5 Rebels rush to high-scoring victory

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 4, 2010

By Terrell Robinson


Riverside Academy fumbled on its opening drive Friday night but still managed to stay one step ahead of White Castle throughout their home opener.

Quarterback Darnell Rachal scored the game’s first points on a 12-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter and the Rebels never relinquished their lead on ther way to a 48-34 non-district victory over the Bulldogs.

Riverside rushed its way to the win in a physical game which saw the home team run the ball 54 times for 418 yards. In addition to Rachal’s two rushing touchdowns, running backs Thomas Crouch, Lloyd Johnson and Dylan Martin all reached the endzone.

“We know that as long as we keep pounding the ball with the four backs, we’ll be successful”, said Riverside halfback Thomas Crouch, who also credited the offensive line and coaching staff.

While the Rebel’s offense was clicking on all cylinders, their defense and special teams struggled to contain big plays on a few occasions. The Bulldogs’ running back Tyree Bracken (18 carries, 142 yards) turned the proverbial hat-trick by scoring 3 times. After a 90-yard kickoff return in the second quarter, he opened the second half with an 82-yard rushing score and later caught a 22-yard pass from White Castle quarterback Ronald Martin. Martin also threw two touchdowns to wide receiver Issac O’Bear.

When asked about the Rebels’ performance, Riverside coach Mickey Roussel saw a tale of two units.

“Offensively, we didn’t punt all game and our only non-scoring drive came after a fumble. But our defense and special teams were both a little disappointing”, he said. “We’re happy to get the win, but we have to improve and we know that”.

Although susceptible to the big play, Riverside’s defense did step up in a large way during crunch time. Defensive back Tate Scioneaux intercepted Martin with less then two minutes left to play, allowing the home team to kneel out the clock and crushing the Bulldogs’ hopes of mounting a late comeback.

Overall, the Rebels played a game worthy of their Division 2A ranking (fifth) and will look toward advancing their status in next week’s away game against North Vermilion.