Rebels familiar with JCC

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 28, 2011



RESERVE — Riverside put forth its most decisive effort of the season last week in its 41-19 win over South Plaquemines, extending the ninth-ranked Rebels’ winning streak to three and securing victory in its first district game of the season.

The Rebels will have improve upon its strong effort, though, this Friday night as Riverside prepares to host powerful John Curtis, the top-ranked team in Class 2A.

Riverside (3-1) and Curtis (4-0) are quite familiar with one another, and not just from sharing a district. The teams have met four times over the last two seasons, playing once in district and then meeting in the Class 2A quarterfinals in each of the last two seasons.

Curtis won all four meetings, the most recent a 33-19 victory in the state quarterfinals at Riverside. In that game, RA led 7-6 late into the third quarter, but a string of special teams miscues and turnovers on three consecutive possessions allowed the Patriots to blow open the game.

So it should come as no surprise when Roussel says that for his team to compete this week, eliminating self-inflicted wounds is of the highest importance.

“What they’re not going to allow, defensively, is for you to get anything easy,” said Roussel. “They prevent the big play. They want to make you execute for 12 plays, 14 plays, and especially at the high school level, that allows for the offense to make a mistake. For something bad to happen … We need to make positive plays, stay out of second and 12, third and 15. Punting against Curtis isn’t necessarily bad. But we can’t turn it over.”

The Patriots are off to another undefeated start, with wins over Westgate, East St. John, Franklinton and Cohen, the latter defeated last week 45-0 in Curtis’ district opener.

Defensively, Curtis has been unforgiving. Only East St. John has had relative success offensively against the JCC defense; its other three opponents have scored seven points between them, including two shutouts.

Offensively, the Patriots’ veer attack is led by a talented stable of rushers, featuring Sherman Badie, Raekwon James and Tevin Horton. Patrick Morton is the first-year starter at quarterback.

Riverside saw each of its first three games decided in the final minute or in overtime. Against South Plaquemines, the Rebels were able to breath easy in the waning moments, after answering a third quarter push by the host Hurricanes.

Rebels’ quarterback Tate Scioneaux threw a career high three touchdown passes to go along with 147 yards, completing 9 of his 19 pass attempts. Nate Williams rushed for 88 yards on 11 carries and scored a touchdown while adding 26 yards on two receptions, scoring on one of those. Jonquial Sanders, likewise, rushed for 30 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and caught five passes for another 89 yards and a score.

South Plaquemines quarterback Lorne Barthelemy accounted for 361 total yards (250 passing, 111 rushing) and three touchdowns.

But Barthelemy threw four critical interceptions

“He’s a good athlete, but I thought we did a pretty good job against him,” said Roussel. “He got us a few times, hurt us with his legs. But we forced him into some turnovers..”

Grady Gieger, Lucas Martin, Scioneaux, Josh Ladner and Austin Millet each intercepted passes.

Leading 20-7, The Rebels looked primed to put things away in the second half when Kalen Jenkins scored from a yard out, giving RA a 20-point lead. But Barthelemy led his team on a rally, accounting for two scores to make it 27-19.

RA pulled away nonetheless. Scioneaux found Williams for a 20-yard touchdown with 10:04 left to play, making it 34-14. After a Geiger interception on SPHS’ ensuing drive, Riverside put it away via a Williams’ 9-yard touchdown run.