Rebels look for answers before Wright

Published 11:45 pm Tuesday, October 29, 2013


LAPLACE—In just eight days time, Riverside experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.
A dramatic victory over then No. 1 ranked Newman vaulted Riverside into the top spot in Class 2A, but a week later the Rebels found themselves shocked by South Plaquemines, 12-6, and searching for answers in the wake of a broken leg suffered by quarterback Deuce Wallace.
Wallace, who led the River Parishes in passing a year ago, was injured in the Newman game and is out indefinitely.
The Rebels (6-2, 4-1) will attempt to regroup this week as it hosts Sophie B. Wright in District 8-2A action.
Riverside coach Bill Stubbs acknowledged that the team is still making adjustments to its offensive lineup and gameplan. But he was most concerned with the way he felt his team was beaten physically against the Hurricanes.
“We all take responsibility for what took place,” said Stubbs. “There are a number of different reasons, but the bottom line is they don’t add up to an excuse. We need to figure it out. Our preparation was poor last week in all honesty. I think we got full of ourselves and didn’t stay true to what we believe in, which is getting better in every game. That certainly wasn’t the case on Friday.’
“I really, really don’t like the idea of us getting outphysicalled on both sides of the ball.”
In Wallace’s stead, sophomore Kendall Martin started at quarterback and 8th grader Jordan Loving saw time there. Martin moved to tailback after running backs DeAndre Wilson and Hardell Mack suffered injuries. The Rebel offense never got on track, and Stubbs said that changes are forthcoming as the team attempts to reestablish its attack.
“We’re looking at some different guys, some different options on the trigger (quarterback),” said Stubbs. “I’m going to play that close to the vest for now, but I’ll just say we’re rapidly working toward a solution … Last week we tweaked our offense a bit and it didn’t work out how we thought it would.”
Regardless of what other changes are made either personnel or strategy wise, Stubbs said that the most important thing is that his team be able to establish the run and do it consistently. The coach expects both Mack and Wilson to return this week.
“We have to do a much better job of running the ball. We aren’t hiding that,” said Stubbs. “That needs to get done.”
Like South Plaquemines did a week earlier, Sophie B. Wright (3-5, 2-3) comes off a lopsided loss to St. James. Prior to that, Wright fell to Carver 28-18, blew out Cohen 64-6, and edged South Plaquemines 22-20.
Wright is led by quarterback Derek Robinson, who passed for two touchdowns in the win over South Plaquemines.  But he struggled in last week’s loss to St. James with both of his top receivers, Kevin Johnson and Daijon Landry, sidelined by injuries.
Still, Riverside is tasked with bouncing back against a team that’s defeated the team that toppled Riverside last week.
“That’s a scary thought,” said Stubbs of Wright’s win over South Plaquemines. “We feel like this is a good football team coming in. I feel like we’re a better one, but that and 50 cents will buy you  a cup of coffee.’
“Right now, I feel like it’s more about Riverside and responding to the challenges ahead. We need to quit feeling sorry for ourselves and get at it.”