Rebels move on after Evangel battle

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, September 10, 2013


LAPLACE — In many ways, Riverside’s clash with Evangel on Friday night showed exactly how far the Rebels have come since the beginning of the 2012 season. In others, it showed exactly how far the Rebels have left to go to find themselves where they aspire to be.
No doubt that there are many at Riverside that left Friday night’s 29-22 loss to Evangel with second guesses and feelings of regret. But for a handful of execution errors, the Rebels likely would have secured the sheer definition of a landmark victory over a traditional powerhouse.
But by the same token, Riverside went toe to toe with the high-powered Eagles, the Rebels’ mounting a comeback from being down 21-3 to taking a late 22-21 lead, its offense finding a groove and its defense proving its mettle in holding the Evangel offense in check for much of the night.
Riverside coach Bill Stubbs said he felt the Rebels established an identity on Friday and played the type of game his team can really build upon going forward. But on the other side of the coin, he said that for Riverside to evolve into a true contender, the next step is to eliminate the kind of critical mistakes that cost his team Friday, among them a fumble at the Evangel 2-yard line that was returned for a touchdown.
“We made enough mistakes to really last a long time. We’ve gotta lose the mistakes,” said Stubbs. “If we don’t make those errors throughout the night, then we aren’t even in that position to begin with late in the game.’
“That’s not just the players, it goes for me too as a coach. The squib kick at the end of the game, they got it in good field position … We hadn’t practiced that enough, probably, to call that there. That’s on me. We can all do a better job of avoiding those mental errors.”
This Friday night, Riverside will go on the road to face Loranger, which one its season opener last week over St. Thomas Aquinas, 28-20, in Hammond.
Stubbs said that the film of that game shows a Loranger team that boasts tremendous athleticism and a sound defensive plan.
“They honestly look a lot better than I anticipated,” said Stubbs. “Their quarterback is a very polished kid who runs really well. Defensively, they’re very, very aggressive and they all run to the ball. This is no cake walk. After they won in the opener, there’s a lot of excitement on their part.”