Riverside outguns Newman in thrilling fashion

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 6, 2010


A mere five seconds remained in the fourth quarter of Friday night’s game against Newman when Darnell Rachal, with Riverside trailing by one, broke the plane of the end zone on an eleven yard touchdown scamper, sealing a dramatic 44-37 victory for the Rebels.

“We’re getting closer to the post-season”, said Riverside head coach Mickey Roussel, “and now more than ever we’ve got to remain focused. Tonight, we did just that”.

After taking an 8 point lead on a Rachal touchdown early in the 4th quarter, Riverside momentarily lost that focus. On the following possession, Greenies’ quarterback Ryan Brenner connected with Odell Beckham on a forty-nine yard touchdown pass. Then, Beckham intercepted Dylan Martin on a halfback pass, setting up Newman’s Richard Brennan for a 37 yard field goal, giving the visitors their late, but brief lead.

The tightly contested showdown saw the two teams exchange punches through forty-eight minutes, with neither team leading by more than one score at any point. Riverside struck first when Rachal (199 yards, 5 TD’s) crossed the goal line from seven yards out on the Rebels first possession of the game, setting the tone for what would be a phenomenal night for the senior quarterback. After a Beckham rushing touchdown, Rachal would score again, this time on a 26 yard run late in the first quarter.

Beckham and Rachal continued their duel in the 2nd quarter. Beckham rushed for two touchdowns early in the quarter, in between which Rachal added his third score of the night. Newman then took a 28-22 lead just before halftime, when Brenner threw to the end zone to a wide open Beckham.

The third quarter gave just enough room for the crowd to catch their collective breath. Thomas Crouch finished off a nine play drive by crossing the goal line on a fourth-and-three from seventeen yards out. It was the only score of the quarter, but kept the game close leading up to the frantic final 12 minutes.