Riverside Academy overcame a driving rain and sloppy field to defeat St. Edmund 38-19 in the opening round of the Division IV playoffs Friday night in Reserve.
“The weather was a real big problem for us to start the game. We had to overcome that situation and the coaching staff made did a good job of making those adjustments and the kids followed suit. We took care of the weather and we were fine,” Riverside coach Kevin Dizer said.
The win advances the Rebels to the second round at Vermilon Catholic. St. Edmund ended its season at 5-3.
A 48-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game by Gage Larvadain gave Riverside a 6-0 lead.
The Rebels, who improved to 7-2, increased the advantage to 12-0 on a 64-yard touchdown run by Elijah Davis.
St. Edmund was on the move until Riverside’s David Reynaud came up with an interception at the Rebels’ 20-yard line.
A bad snap from center sailed into the end zone, with the Fighting Blue Jays recovering in the end zone for a touchdown to make it 12-7.
“The main thing was handling the ball, getting the snap from the center to the quarterback,” Dizer said of his team’s adjustment because of poor field conditions. “We ended up having to make an adjustment at center and with cadence in order to make sure we got the snap.”
St. Edmund took the lead at 13-12 on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Henry Brown to Gus Brown in the second quarter.
Riverside regained the lead at 18-13 right before halftime on a 15-yard pass from Larvadain to Nick Washington.
A blocked punt by Logan Loving was recovered by Tairyn Lockhart for a touchdown and a two-point conversion run by Larvadain made it 26-13 in the third quarter.
St. Edmunds scored on the final play of the third quarter on a 6-yard touchdown run by Keiran Davis to make it 26-19.
Touchdown runs by Larvadain and Davis allowed Rebels to pull away for 38-19 win.
“The offensive line did a good job. I was very impressed with those guys up front. When a team knows you are going to run the ball and you still open up holes, that’s a big deal,” said Dizer.
After winning a total of three games a year ago, the Rebels now head to the second round of the 2020 playoffs.
“I’m happy for the seniors. We were able to host a game and get a playoff win at home. We don’t know much about Vermilion. We know they have a good quarterback and a good passing game. The bottom line is we’re still alive and we will do what we have to do to get another one,” Dizer said.