Rebels score 3 on ‘D,’ trounce Fisher

Published 4:29 am Saturday, October 11, 2014


RESERVE — Last season, Riverside’s defense grew into an impressive unit that could generate stops. But the 2014 edition of its defense seems to have evolved into a different animal, entirely.

The Rebels scored three defensive touchdowns Friday night in a 64-0 District 8-2A rout of Fisher (1-5, 0-3), setting up a battle of undefeated teams between RA and Newman next week to settle sole possession of first place.

“I was pleased on most accounts,” Riverside coach Bill Stubbs said. “There were some lulls where we lost our focus, but that’s hard to maintain given how the last couple of games have gone. I’m expecting a really good week of practice. I think our kids are really excited to have a battle coming up.”

Brandon Hymel got the Rebels (6-0, 3-0) off and running with his 38-yard interception return for a touchdown, while Joe Anderson and Austin Glidden returned interceptions 10 and 42 yards respectively for “pick-six” plays.

“Offense is what everyone loves to talk about, but to get where you want to be and need to be, your defense has to be very good,” Stubbs said. “The kids are really understanding their roles and (defensive coordinator Chris) Lachney has done a really phenomenal job, doing a lot of things with our situational defense.

“I can’t say enough about our defense. I’m very excited about where we’re at there.”

Jordan Loving tossed three touchdown passes, two of them to Darrion Cook, while Hardell Mack rushed for 50 yards and two touchdowns on three carries.

Herb McGee had two receptions for 75 yards and a touchdown. Cook finished with three catches for 66 yards. Brandon Sanders rushed five times for 51 yards and a score.

Hymel’s scoring return was Riverside’s first touchdown of the night, just 2:02 into the first quarter. Two minutes later, Loving connected with Cook for a 12-yard score, then with 1:20 left in the first quarter, Loving found McGee for the night’s longest play, a 67-yard score.

Riverside completely blew things open in the second quarter, scoring five times. Mack and Sanders each found the endzone on short runs while Loving and Cook combined for an explosive play, a 44-yard score. Anderson and Glidden scored off of turnovers on back-to-back Fisher possessions just before halftime.

Mack added a 35-yard touchdown run in the second half that was the game’s lone score after halftime.

Cook has scored five touchdowns over the past three weeks. After establishing himself as a threat last season, Cook has taken the next step in his development, Stubbs said.

“He’s become a go-to guy for us,” Stubbs said. “We try to get him in one-on-one situations. He’s much quicker than he was last season. With Von (Julien) and Herb at receiver, it’s tough for teams to account for all three. I always like my chances if we get (Cook) one-on-one.”