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Riverside Academy falls short to Newman losing 31-30 in overtime

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  • October 14, 2017 - 12:25am

Riverside head coach Chris Lachney watches as his team's comeback came up just short in an overtime loss at Newman.

Riverside Academy and Newman have had some classic battles in recent years.

For the most part, the Rebels have come out on top – until Friday night in New Orleans.

Riverside matched Newman’s touchdown to open overtime but the Rebels’ extra-point attempt was wide left, dropping RA to 1-4 on the season.

“It was a typical Riverside-Newman game. It shook out the same way all of them have in a very exciting fashion. We’ve been very fortunate to be on the good end of it for the last few times. They beat us tonight and the deserved to win,” Riverside coach Chris Lachney said.

Newman remained unbeaten on the season at 7-0.

Although a pair of open weeks has caused the Rebels to play two fewer games than most teams, that did not factor in Friday’s outcome, according to Lachney.

“Those are things that we don’t control,” the Riverside coach said. “If you allow yourself to think that way, you find yourself in a dead end. If we allow ourselves to fall into the idea that, ‘oh, we’ve only played five football games and everybody else has played seven,’ there is no answer to that. There is no recourse for that. You can’t go play those games that you missed.

“We have to get better as a football team. We have to get better in critical situations on our football team. It doesn’t matter to us how many games we have played versus anybody else. That is as much of a factor as what month we are in right now. That’s really the furthest thing from our minds.”

With the score tied 24-24 at the end of regulation, Newman quarterback Martin Butcher tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to Murray Calhoun on the first play of overtime and Sam Moses added the extra point to give the Greenies a 31-24 lead.

Louis Cheneau countered on Riverside’s first play of overtime with a 10-yard touchdown run but Colton Wilson’s extra-point attempt was wide, allowing the Greenies to take the one-point triumph.

“Colt is a tough player and a great kid. He’s our guy,” Lachney said.

Butcher finished 17 of 28 for 265 yards passing.

Newman running back James Poche managed to rush for 101 yards but it took 36 carries as the Greenies good an effective job of ball control.

“I thought we did a pretty good job on him. I thought our defense played good enough for us to win at times,” Lachney said. “We’ve been struggling to find our identity a little bit defensively. I think we came up with a couple of big stops in critical situations and I was pretty proud of the way we played up front. I thought we played well against the run all night. The guys on the back end made a couple of big plays, too. I think we took a couple of steps forward defensively tonight. It just wasn’t quite enough to win.

“They wanted to run the ball and run the clock and keep us off the field and they were able to do that for a half. In the second half, I thought we played as close to great defensive as we’ve seen this year.”

Riverside quarterback Jordan Loving was 20 of 36 passing for 315 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Receivers Kash Foley and Jeremiah Bigham each topped 100 yards receiving. Cheneau led the Rebels in rushing with 69 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries.

An 89-yard interception return for a touchdown by Garland Robertson Jr. gave Riverside a 7-0 lead.

Newman countered with a 22-yard pass from Butcher to Dylon Hill and a 4-yard Poche run to lead 14-7 after one quarter.

Riverside’s other first-half touchdown also came in big-play fashion when Loving connected with Kash Foley on an 87-yard pass to tie the game less than two minutes into the second quarter.

A 31-yard Moses field goal at the 3:30 mark of the second quarter gave Newman a 17-14 halftime edge.

Newman extended the lead to 24-14 on a 62-yard pass from Butcher to Jarmone Sutherland in the third quarter.

A tackle-breaking 34-yard touchdown run by Cheneau less than a minute into the four quarter rallied the Rebels to within three points at 24-21.

“Louis is playing iron man football right now. He’s playing both sides of the ball and playing pretty much every snap on both,” Lachney said.

Wilson connected on a 42-yard field goal with 5:31 left in regulation to force overtime.

Newman could have avoided overtime but a field goal attempt by Moses hit the upright.

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