To say that Riverside Academy has dominated District 8-2A this season would be an understatement. The Rebels added Carver to their list of overwhelmed victims in district play, routing the Rams 63-0 Friday night at Mickey Roussel Field in Reserve.
With the win, Riverside (10-0) completed its first undefeated regular season since 2000. The District 8-2A champions (7-0) outscored their district opponents by a 401-60 margin. In fact, Riverside has won all of its games this season by 30 or more points, except for a six-point season opening victory at Evangel and a 23-point margin against West St. John.
The Rebels, ranked third in the Louisiana Sports Writers Association Class 2A poll and second in the New Orleans Advocate Small Schools Super 10, figure to enter the Division III playoffs next week with a No. 3 seed.
“Now it’s time to refocus on each football game, each practice actually,” Riverside coach Bill Stubbs said. “I think we’re going to respond. I think we’re going to have a renewed sense of urgency. We’re excited. This is where this kids want to be. The guys have been around me long enough to know that it’s time to roll the sleeves up and get after it.”
Quarterback Jordan Loving completed 14 of 18 passes for 135 yards and threw three first-half touchdown passes as Riverside eased to a 49-0 halftime lead. The 6-foot-3 freshman phenom found Darrion Cook for scoring strikes of 23 and 6 yards and also Tyler Gauthier for a 8-yard TD toss.
“Jordan has assumed the role and we’re spreading it around offensively,” Stubbs said. The Rebels used eight ballcarriers, eight receivers, and three quarterbacks.
Hardell Mack and DeAndre Wilson had touchdown runs of 22 and 3 yards, respectively, in the first half. Jared Butler caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Herb McGee in the first half and Le’Boe Bridges ran 25 yards for the only offensive touchdown of the second half.
In the first half, Riverside intercepted four passes, two by Jacob Venus, and recovered one fumble, converting all five Rams turnovers into touchdowns. JaJuan Bell returned one of the interceptions 52 yards for a score.
“Defensively, we’re playing mighty good. We’re scoring a lot of points on defense,” Stubbs said. “It’s a total team effort.”
The Riverside special teams added a touchdown in the second half, as Tannor Triche returned a fumbled punt snap 7 yards for the final score of the night.
Loving looks forward to the challenge in the post-season. “We just try to play our own football, regardless of who we’re playing,” Loving said. “We’re going to face some really good competition in the playoffs and we’re going to be ourselves. We’re going to try and execute in all three phases of the game.”
Despite the loss, Carver (3-6, 3-4) expects to qualify for the playoffs. “We’re a young, inexperienced team,” Carver coach Byron Addison. “Everytime we get something good going, we have turnovers and you just can’t beat a good team like Riverside or no team for that matter.”