Prep Impressions: Week 9-B
I covered the Riverside Notre Dame-Rubidoux varsity football game on Friday, Nov. 4, 2011, for The Press-Enterprise and came away thinking this game could have been called at halftime, and nobody would have noticed.
Rubidoux had scored three first half touchdowns and tacked on a field goal to lead 24-0 at halftime. And with Notre Dame’s inability to get anything going on offense (just 89 yards and no drives advancing past Rubidoux’s 40), there was little chance of the Titans coming back to from a four-score deficit to win in the second half.
To Notre Dame’s credit, the defense forced Rubidoux to fumble on its first drive of the third quarter, and then to punt on each of its last three second-half possessions, but the Titans could manage only one field goal on for their five possessions — and that score was set up when Jalen Pontius fumbled inside the Falcons’ 15.
If Notre Dame’s Joshua Ivery hadn’t rushed for 104 yards in the second half and, say, merely doubled his first half totals, the Titans would have finished with just 118 yards. Instead, they finished with 194 yards. And Ivery? For all his carries (24), only had one redzone attempt. He gained just one yard, to the 5, before Joe Pierik kicked a 22-yard FG.
For Rubidoux (4-0), the victory earns them a CIF-SS Eastern Division playoff spot, and sets up a matchup with Redlands Citrus Valley (4-0) for the Mountain Valley League title. That game will be played Thursday night in Redlands.
Riverside Notre Dame coach Pete McGowan:
“I don’t think anything, necessarily, went wrong. With a school with a population twice our size, and to compete against them and to play with them, it was really good. We’re a very young team. The majority of my team’s sophomores. So I think we came out and gave them a good run, ya’ know? I’m learning that Notre Dame has a good spirit. How to control the sideline. How to control the clock. How to keep making adjustments, better and faster. That has always been my biggest weak point but as time goes one I’ll get better at that. I’m a believer that I make players who were, that everybody didn’t think they could play, and make them be better than they are. And I think we’ve done a good job of that. Hat’s off to Rubidoux. They’re a great team, 4-0. We’re young. We held Daniel Young to a touchdown. We hit him pretty hard. We played a very physical game. I think we can that into next week and next year. A whole new season, with weight room, we could be an outstanding football team.”
Rubidoux coach Jason McMains:
“I thought we played a pretty solid game defensively, that’s what we’re looking for going into our last game, just making strides and cleaning up some things on offense. I think we have a pretty balanced attack, and we were able to throw ball a little bit, which helps us out offensively. Kinda keeps defenses honest. We worked a lot of option tonight, and that helps us go into our power game, with the option, going into the playoffs. (Washington’s first touchdown) was big because they loaded up the box, and did a good job of trying to take away our option, and we saw that so as soon as the safeties started moving up… the good thing with our offense is that we have the two guys lining up on the wings you get to close and we’re able to hit’cha. Jalen (Pontious) has proved all year that he’s able to throw the football. It was good. The best thing that has happened to Notre Dame is putting Pete in charge. He’s fired that team up, and they’re playing hard. He’s putting guys in the right spots. Shoot, they were second place last year. They had a lot of guys coming back — Ivery, Easton and O’Connor — and he did a good job putting those kids back where they should be. Proved last week that they were playing hard and this week they gave it everything they got. There’s not quit. Those kids know how to play football, and under Pete’s direction I think they’re just going to get better. He’s a good player’s coach. That’s what (Daniel Young and Deontre Washington) have been giving us all year. Daniel with the inside, and Deontre with the outside. If we can develop the passing game I think it kinda of gives us our triple-threat and we keep getting better. We’re still a young team, we’re still learning. We’re not there quite where I want to be as far as playing a complete game but we’re making strides and making them at the right time. (Next week’s game) is something this league needs. Something that we need. Something Citrus Valley needs. It’ll be fun. This is why we play football. This is why we coach football. We want to be in these types of games, in November, playing for something, and excited to see the kids getting ready for it. A short week. It’s a big challenge for them I think the guys’ll be ready and there’s not excuses. Who ever wins, wins, and deserves to be league champs.”
Rubidoux junior Daniel Young (pictured, No. 20):
“I knew they had a good backfield and we just had to stay home, watch any reverses or anything because they have some quick guys and we just had to lock it down. We can’t get complacent. We have to stay ready to fight, and fight for that league championship like we did last year. I want to go back-to-back-to-back because this is my junior year, and we won it my sophomore year, and hopefully this year so next year, when we’re seniors, we can finish off with something good. I think I played all right. I think I could have done better in areas, but I think I did pretty good. I played better, this week, on defense, I think, ’cause I got more hits than I usually do. I just had a lot of energy tonight. I was ready to play. Waiting for this game all year. Ready for next week, too.”
Rubidoux junior Deontre Washington:
“I learned how good we are. How good we really could be, ’cause usually we slack it, usually we slack off, but my team showed me something new. I’ve never seen my team hit that hard. I’m expecting them to do that next week. Our coaches were telling us that this is a big game, and we’ve been working hard all week just for this game. We wanted to prove to our old coach, from last year, not to mess with us.”
Feature photo by DAVID BAUMAN / THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE