The Rebels (5-1, 1-0), who are No.6 in the Select Division IV power ratings, earned its fifth straight victory. It is also the fourth straight game where the Riverside defense held its opponents to 14 points or less. The Rebels have scored 40 or more points in each of its five victories.
St. Martin’s (4-1, 0-1), who came into the game as the No. 1 team in the Select Division IV power ratings, suffered its first loss of the season. Before Friday night, the Saints had not lost a game in the regular season since Riverside beat them 35-7 on Oct. 7, 2022. It was also the first time St. Martin’s lost on their home field since Sept. 24, 2021, when Hanson Memorial High School beat them 34-28.
St. Martin’s running back Harlem Berry, who is the nation’s best running back for the Class of 2025, had 29 carries for 167 yards and two touchdowns. However, it wasn’t Berry’s show tonight. The show’s main star was Riverside running back Dedric Lastie. The 5-3, 130-pound back played bigger than his size as he ran for 338 yards on just 18 carries and four touchdowns. Lastie had rushing touchdowns of 68, 48, nine and 38 yards and 10 of his carries went for over 10 yards.
“We knew everyone came here to see No. 25 and rightfully so because he’s an elite player, but we wanted them to talk about No. 1, Dedric Lastie,” Riverside head coach Lee Roussel said after the game.
Along with Lastie’s performance, the Rebel defense was key in the victory as well. Riverside completely shut down the Saints’ offensive attack and forced three turnovers as well. Two of the turnovers were interceptions by senior defensive back Jaedon Butler and freshman linebacker Cruz Cambre. The third turnover came when senior defensive lineman Amiree Alexander forced a fumble and he quickly pounced on the ball to recover it.
Wide receiver Kenric Johnson recorded both a rushing and throwing touchdown on a reverse pass play in the final seconds of the first half. Not only did Johnson perform under the bright lights, but he is an eighth grader!
Sophomore quarterback Brock Bourgeois was responsible for the first touchdown of the game when he found tight end Mason Smith for a 51-yard touchdown and was the one who caught Johnson’s pass on the reverse pass.
“I love our young guys but I like them now and I don’t think we have to wait for those guys to be good,” Roussel said on several of his younger players making plays on the field. “They are on Friday nights making plays right now. Cruz (Cambre) with an interception and Kenric Johnson playing all over the place. He’s playing receiver, he’s playing quarterback, he’s playing corner. That’s not easy for an eight and ninth grader to do that.”