Rebels oust Jaguars

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 20, 2010

By Kim Normand

Contributing Writer

After a dead heat opening quarter the visiting Riverside Rebels from Reserve used three key Pope John Paul II mistakes to bring what was a 7-7 tie early in the second stanza to a 28-7 halftime lead, and a 41-21 rout of the Jaguars at Lester Latino Field.

The Rebels 10-2 now advance to the quarterfinal round of the state prep playoffs but must face district champion John Curtis, although this time they will get the Patriots at home. PJP II ends its year at 8-4 after reaching the regional round of the playoffs for the first time in school history.

“We played sporadically in the first quarter offensively, but our defense definitely came to play tonight,” said Riverside coach Mickey Roussel.

“I am proud of our guys; Riverside is an outstanding football team. We made some mental mistakes in the second quarter with those errors and some penalties which really hurt us,” said Jaguars’ coach Mark Jeanmard.

After a scoreless first quarter where both teams mounted drives but failed to score, Riverside got on the scoreboard two minutes into the second period as senior captain and quarterback Darnell Rachal connected with halfback Thomas Crouch on a 41-yard pass play good for six and with C.J. Elder’s PAT the Rebels led, 7-0.

On the ensuing kickoff sophomore Evan Labat returned the kickoff 93 yards to tie the score at 7 apiece as Teddy Macke added the extra-point. Macke had earlier missed a 34-yard field goal attempt in the opening quarter.

By the midway mark of the second quarter Rachal added the first of his three touchdown runs in the frame the first one from three yards away to put the Rebels on top 14-7, a lead which they never relinquished. This score was preceded by a fumble on the handoff between Jaguars’ quarterback Clyde Perkins and junior fullback Kyle Canulette which the Rebels recovered at the Jags’ 28.

Rachal added his second rushing score of the game two minutes later on a nine-yard run to put his team up 21-7 as Elder was true again on the PAT. Dylan Martin blocked a Macke punt attempt which was recovered by Andrew Vicknair giving the Rebels the ball at PJP II 14-yard line.

Less than a minute remaining in the first half Rachal struck again on a one-yard run to give the Rebels a comfortable 28-7 lead at intermission. This score was set up by a fake punt attempt which Perkins slipped on and failed to get the first down.

Just over two minutes into the second half Crouch tallied his second touchdown this one on a 10-yard run which capped off an eight-play, 54-yard drive to start the second half as the Jags attempted an unsuccessful onside kick to start the third quarter. The PAT was good and the Rebels had an insurmountable 35-7 lead.

At the outset of the final quarter Rachal found Crouch again this time on a 17-yard hookup to bring the score to 41-7 as Elder missed his final and only extra-point kick of the contest.

Perkins teamed up with fellow senior Brandon Colvin on two consecutive receptions good for 28 and then 24 yards good for six and Macke ran in the two-point conversion because of a low snap as the Jags made the score 41-15 with three minutes remaining in the game.

Daniel Eckholdt blocked a Tate Scioneaux punt which was scooped up by Cameron Dean and returned 26 yards to bring the final score to 41-21. This was a measure of revenge for Scioneaux’s interception of Perkins in the third quarter.

Rachal finished the matchup with 89 yards rushing; he had gained 99 in the first half and 91 passing yards on 5-of-12 attempts.