Rebels ‘D’ shines in 31-0 victory

Published 3:06 am Saturday, September 14, 2013


LAPLACE — Riverside sought its first victory of the season Friday night at Loranger and with it some peace of mind. After a heartbreaking 29-22 loss at home to Evangel last week, the Rebels needed a reason to celebrate.

As it turned out, that celebration came of a coming out party of the Rebels’ defense. Riverside shut out Loranger and scored touchdowns off of an interception return and a punt block in a decisive 31-0 victory.

“We played tremendously well defensively tonight,” said Riverside coach Bill Stubbs. “We put them in a box and we didn’t let them out of that box. They put it on the ground, we had an interception for a touchdown … We put a tremendous amount of pressure on them. I thought it was a coming out party for our defense. Those guys played well across the board.”

The start of the game was delayed for 45 minutes due to weather, and once on the field it took a little while for the Rebels offense to get completely on track, but the team’s defense and special teams units picked up the slack early on. Riverside got on the board in the first quarter after Jeremiah Berteau blocked a punt. Jake Venus recovered in the endzone and Tyler Gauthler’s extra point was good to make it 7-0.

In the second quarter, Brandon Hymel intercepted a pass and returned it 20 yards for another Rebels’ score to make it 14-0. Gauthier added a 17-yard field goal with 20 seconds left before halftime to make it a 17-0 lead at the break.

In the third quarter, Riverside’s high-powered offensive attack began to flex its muscles. Deuce Wallace dialed up Herb McGee for a 39-yard touchdown to make it 24-0. Wallace connected on another big play before the end of the third, finding Darrion Cook for a 47-yard score to round out the Rebels’ scoring.

Wallace finished with 190 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, completing 9 of 20 pass attempts. He also rushed for 43 yards on six carries. Cook and McGee each caught four passes, for 91 and 86 yards respectively. Brandon Sanders rushed for 65 yards on 15 carries.

Defensively, Evan Veron had a strong night with five tackles, a sack and two pass breakups. Joe Anderson recovered a fumble.

Riverside (1-1) accounted for 308 yards of total offense. The Rebels made four trips into the redzone that accounted for no points, however, something Stubbs said his team will have to clean up.

Stubbs also praised Gauthier, who accounted for a number of touchbacks and held a dangerous Loranger (1-1) return game without opportunities to cash in.

“He had a really good night, three or four touchbacks,” said Stubbs. “He didn’t give them a chance to get out the endzone … I’m feeling really good about where we are after two weeks on special teams.”

He said that as much as anything, he’s encouraged at how his team responded after such a disappointing loss. Riverside led Evangel last week in the final minute before the Eagles rallied. The coach said that his team showed maturity in putting it behind them.

“I was concerned about how we’d respond. This (win) is huge,” said Stubbs. “Last year, I think we’d have struggled in this spot. Our guys showed a lot of mental toughness tonight.”