Wallace to Julien lifts Rebels past Newman

Published 3:14 am Saturday, October 27, 2012




RESERVE — Riverside was involved in another wild one on Friday night. Only this time, the Rebels came through in the clutch and out on the winning end.

With the Rebels trailing by Newman two with 37 seconds left, Riverside’s Deuce Wallace led a 62-yard scoring drive, capping things with a 23-yard scoring strike to Von Julien with 14 seconds left to lift Riverside to a 48-44 victory at home.

“This win means everything,” said Wallace. “We did this for our seniors, to keep the season alive for them. It’s just an awesome thing.”

Both teams were playing for their postseason lives, each near the final cutline in Class 2A power points. A Riverside (3-5, 2-3) loss almost certainly would have eliminated the Rebels, who turn their attention to winless Clark next week for what is perhaps a “win and in” scenario.

The numbers on this night were gaudy, just as they were in the Rebels’ 46-43 loss to Carver last week, and just as they were in a 62-50 scorefest of a loss to South Plaquemines in their district opener. Wallace completed 28-of-39 pass attempts for 352 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. Julien finished with 13 catches for 213 yards and three touchdowns — all career highs. Jonquial Sanders rushed for 114 yards and caught seven passes for 91 yards. He scored three touchdowns.

On the other side, Newman’s Jabari Tyler passed for 450 yards and ran for 130 more. He passed for four scores and ran for two more. Justin Harrell scored two touchdowns and intercepted a pass on defense. Gilly Andry hauled in another score for the Greenies (4-4, 3-3)

“Maybe because we’ve been here so many times,” said Riverside coach Bill Stubbs on his team’s ability to answer late. “It shows poise and composure, but also a lot of character. I think they proved a lot to themselves.”

Sanders set the tempo early, rushing for three of Riverside’s first four touchdowns. The Rebels held leads of 14-0 and 28-13, but Newman rallied each time, preying on some costly Rebel turnovers early on.

But Sanders’ early dominance — he rushed for scores of 47, 5 and 16 yards — opened things of for the combination of Wallace and Julien late. That duo combined for the Rebels’ final three touchdowns, all in the final 5:27 of play.

The mad scramble began with Riverside trailing 31-28 with 6:25 left in the game, the Rebels taking over on Newman’s 44 after forcing a Greenies’ punt. Herb McGee converted a key fourth and five on a 7-yard end-around run, and on the next play Wallace found Julien for a 32-yard touchdown to make it 35-31.

Newman responded on its next drive, going 80 yards and converting a fourth down itself; Tyler hit running back Kirk Merritt on the sideline on fourth-and-three, and Merritt broke free for a 45-yard score to make it 38-35.

Riverside scored in two plays on its next drive, Wallace dialing up Julien from deeper this time for a 47-yard touchdown pass that put the Rebels back ahead, 42-38.

“(Newman) was really worried about stopping Jonquial and Herb,” said Julien. “It’s all they were worried about. We got some good looks on the other side.”

Tyler and Newman took over with 3:19 left, and appeared primed to break the hearts of the Rebel fans in attendance yet again. Tyler rushed for six to convert a third-and-four; he escaped a sack by throwing as he was being taken down for a gain of 14; He took Newman all the way down to the RA 6, where he’s take it in himself for a 6-yard touchdown, capping a 65-yard drive to put Newman back ahead, 44-42, with 40 seconds left to play.

It was all the time Riverside needed. Wallace hit Sanders over the middle for a gain of 16. He hit Julian for 12 on the sideline, then McGee for 11, the latter running from sideline to sideline to get out of bounds.

Then, with 14 seconds left, Wallace went for broke.

“I trusted Von,” said Wallace. “On slants, on go’s … I knew he’d beat his guy. Especially on that last throw.”

“The corner came up for bump and run, and I knew I had it,” said Julien.