Big Win Against Tallulah

By Molly Seales

On Friday, September 3, the Riverdale Rebels went on the road for the first time this year as they traveled to Tallulah to take on the Class 2A Trojans on their home turf.  The Rebels knew going in it would be a battle-last year the Rebels beat the Trojans at their homecoming in pouring rain, so they knew the Trojans would be out for revenge.  They were right!  After a hard fought physical and mental game, the Rebels came away with a 38-34 victory, improving their season record to 3-1. With under two minutes to go and the Trojans threatening to take it into the end zone, senior Monroe McCarty leapt into the air for an interception, barely keeping his feet in bounds.  The interception sealed the win for the Rebels as both teams watched the time expire.

The Rebels had a total of 408 offensive yards against the Trojans for 5 touchdowns. Sophomore Ryder Huddleston was 6 for 19 in passing for 121 yards and only one interception against a fierce Tallulah defense. Senior Ty “Bones” Jones had 3 catches for a total of 71 yards. Senior Jake Messenger caught 2 passes for a total of 18 yards, and Monroe McCarty had one catch for 31 yards.  The Rebels kept it on the ground for their touchdowns. The Trojans were unable to stop McCarty as he led the charge with 13 carries for 175 yards and 4 touchdowns. Messenger also had an impressive 10 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown.  Huddleston had 2 carries for 7 yards.  Sophomore Kyle Guillory had 1 carry for 2 yards, and Junior Ben Almond had 1 carry for 1 yard.

At one point late in the 3rd quarter, as the Rebels seemed to be running a little low on energy,  defensive coordinator Jensen Spillum was heard yelling, “It’s not over yet guys. We are in a street fight!” I later asked Coach Jensen what his thoughts were on the season so far.  He said, “Our mindset is to take one week at a time-to go 1-0 ever week and not get caught up in thinking about the next few games or playoffs.  The potential this team has is incredible, and we have seen just how fast and physical we can be in all three phases of the game.”

The Rebels fought a good defensive battle against the Trojans.  Messenger and McCarty led the charge on the defensive side as well. Messenger had 7 solo tackles, 3 assists, and a fumble recovery, and McCarty had 9 solo tackles, 3 assists (1 TFL,) 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 PBU, and the crucial interception in the last 2 minutes of the game. Jones had 2 solo tackles and 5 assists (2 TFL.) Senior defensive lineman Denver Williams again showed great leadership, having 3 solo tackles and 3 assists (1 TFL.) Almond had 3 solo tackles and a PBU on a pass late in the 4thquarter that could have resulted in a Trojan touchdown. Guillory had 3 assists (1 TFL,) while Huddleston had 4 solo tackles and a fumble recovery. Junior Tyler Parker had a solo tackle and 4 assists, while sophomore Hayden Hillman had a solo tackle and 5 assists (1 TFL.) Junior James Wagoner finished out the defensive effort with 1 PBU.

Next Friday is Homecoming and Riverdale’s 50th Celebration.

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