Rebels outgun North Vermilion

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 13, 2010

By Philip Laperouse

Special to L’Observateur

LEROY — After blowing a 12-0 halftime lead and losing by one a year ago, Class 2A No. 4 Riverside returned the favor Friday night, taking care of the North Vermilion Patriots 40-27.

“It’s a nice win, they came back and beat us by one last year,” said Rebels head coach Mickey Roussel, “We’re a little more mature and we have several kids back from last year.”

The Rebels (2-0) caught a bad break early on when North Vermilion’s Zach Bourque scooped up the Riverside fumble and took it the distance for the early 6-0 Patriot lead.

On their next possession, the Rebels had an answer courtesy of a lengthy six-minute drive and a heave dose of their rushing attack before they found the end zone, taking a 7-6 lead with under two minutes to play in the opening quarter.

One break the Rebels caught was the fact that North Vermilion put the ball on the ground throughout the night, once coming at the Riverside one yard line, preventing a Patriot touchdown.

Riverside took advantage of the missed opportunity, and cashed it in on a 98 yard drive capped off on a 28-yard Dylan Martin touchdown reception from Darnell Rachal, giving the Rebels the 14-6 lead with a minute to play in the first half. The fourteen points in the first half from the Rebel offense was part of 34 unanswered points.

“They got the early score on us, but a mature football team doesn’t panic,” Roussel said, “The thing I liked was they fumble it at the two, and we take it 98 yards for the score.”

The Patriots (0-2) finally got back on the board when Landon Dupuy hauled in a 65-yard touchdown reception, pulling the Pats within 34-12.

However, the big play threat of the Rebels showed itself once more on their very first play after the Patriot kickoff, when Rachal found receiver Austin Vicknair on a 60 pass and catch for the score and 40-12 lead.

“In the third quarter we took it over, and that pleases me,” said Roussel. “Football coaches want to win the second half.”

North Vermilion found the end zone two more times on the night making it a two-possession game at 40-27 with just over two minutes to play. The Patriot fight however, was short lived with the Rebels taking a couple of plays to finalize the 13-point victory.

“We played well offensively, they had some weaknesses and we were able to exploit them,” Roussel said. “I also think we are a very explosive team and I thought we were able to show that in the third quarter.”

The Riverside offensive attack was led by Rachal, who rushed for 117 yards and also tallied 132 yards through the air with three touchdowns. Thomas Crouch was 17-115 rushing with a touchdown. Martin hauled in four catches for 90 yards with a touchdown reception.