Rebels shut out South Plaq, 40-0

Published 4:25 am Saturday, October 25, 2014


For the past two seasons, South Plaquemines had Riverside’s number. But after this week’s District 8-2A clash between the Rebels and Hurricanes, Riverside found interest in a different number entirely: zero, the number of points allowed by the Rebel defense Friday night.

Also, the number of Riverside losses this season.

Riverside remained undefeated via a dominating 40-0 victory over the visiting Hurricanes, who entered the game boasting wins over Bill Stubbs’ Rebels in each of his two seasons as coach.

Jordan Loving completed 14 of 26 pass attempts for 207 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Herb McGee totaled 134 yards and two touchdowns on eight offensive touches — five carries and three receptions. Tyler Gauthier and Brandon Sanders each caught touchdown passes, while Hardell Mack rushed for 65 yards and a touchdown.

South Plaquemines upset visiting Riverside last season, 12-6, just one week after the Rebels upended Newman to take the No. 1 rank in the Class 2A poll.

Did it lead to a little extra incentive for the Rebels this time around?

“Yeah, I won’t sit here and say it wasn’t probably in the back of our guys’ minds this week,” Stubbs said. “I think there was an element of that, and our guys were a little charged up. The way we got pushed around up there last year, they were determined to change that. Our defense really took charge from the get-go.”

It was that defense that had Stubbs particularly excited on Friday. Once again, Riverside (8-0, 5-0) made a handful of explosive plays on that side of the ball, including a sack by defensive end Joe Anderson that went for a first quarter safety, putting RA ahead 2-0.

Riverside extended its lead to 9-0 on Loving’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Sanders. Then the defense came up big again, Jake Venus’ scoop and score fumble recovery making it a 16-0 game.

“That kind of sucked the air out of them,” Stubbs said. “They kept fighting, but they kept taking those body shots from us all night long. We got up a few scores and then we were able to really start pressuring them.”

Mack scored on a 5-yard run just before halftime to make it 23-0.

Just 25 seconds into the second half, Loving hit McGee for a 65-yard scoring play, all but putting South Plaquemines (3-5, 3-2) away. Tyler Gauthier added two more Rebel highlights, hitting a 42-yard field goal and then hauling in a late touchdown pass from Loving, Gauthier’s second scoring reception in the past two weeks.

Stubbs has made clear all season long he believes a strong defense is a critical asset to any team with championship aspirations. The Rebels have allowed just over five points per game over its last four matchups.

“I liked the way we flew to the ball,” Stubbs said. “Six, seven, eight hats every single time … You inevitably get into a slopfest here or there where you’re not able to put up the offensive numbers, and having that defense is what keeps you rolling when it happens.”