Riverside Academy football fans have waited a long time for a night like Friday.
It had been 14 years since the Rebels were able to celebrate a win against their crosstown, archrival, St. Charles Catholic, in a real (non-jamboree) football game. So excuse them if they celebrated just a little longer following their 35-3 victory over the Comets — a win which not only ended the long drought against their rivals, but also gave the Rebels sole possession of first place in the District 12-2A race.
“This was important, and how we played tonight was important,” Riverside coach Bill Stubbs said. “It’s something special, but it certainly means that we know we’re pretty good. We’re still trying to get to that ‘real good’ status, so this was a big step. ”
The Rebels (6-1, 3-0), ranked No. 1 in The Advocate’s Small Schools Super 10, got a strong outing from quarterback Jared Butler, who seems to have shaken off any rust he had from missing the first four games of the season with an injury. The sophomore passed for 187 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown, and ran for three more.
“The offensive line did a great job, the team made plays. It’s a great feeling,” Butler said.
And while he has many weapons to choose from, including stellar wide receiver Herb McGee, on this night, Tyler Gauthier was his main target. He had four catches for 135 yards, including the 74-yard touchdown in the third quarter that put the Rebels ahead 28-3.
“It was great,” said Gauthier, who also kicked all five PATs, punted three times for a 37.7-yard average and handled the kickoffs. “Being the main target is, like, an honor, with the four other wide receivers that we have who can get the ball. Him coming to me was like a real honor. They were covering me. It’s just a read option, so if he sees somebody, he can just throw.”
“With this type of offense, we show flashes of how we run the football, we show flashes of how we throw the football,” Stubbs said. “It’s a read offense so, if a guy’s open, we’re going to get it to him.”
St. Charles (6-2, 2-1), the No. 2 team in the Small Schools Super 10, had no answers.
The Comets could neither run nor throw effectively, and were held to 115 yards of offense.
St. Charles managed only a 19-yard field goal by Andrew Rodrigue in the first quarter.
Quarterback Lloyd Nash, who is filling in for the injured Patrick Ratliff, passed for 56 yards on eight completions. He was intercepted once — by Harrison Heckathorn — who turned it into a 26-yard touchdown that gave the Rebels a 21-3 lead with 2:30 remaining in the first half.