Disappointing loss ends playoff run for Riverside Rebels

Olivia Strohschein

Riverside had some good offensive drives, but couldn’t find the end zone often enough against a stingy Southeast defense in a 50-20 loss in the opening round of the Class 1A nine-man football playoffs.
Riverside struck first on the opening play of the game.  Ty Strohschein took the handoff, juked and stiff-armed into the open and proceeded to run it into the end zone. Josh Wildman completed a pass to Reece Whisenant for two, giving the Rebels an 8-0 lead.
Southeast scored the next touchdown, but the Rebels stuffed the conversion attempt to preserve their two-point lead.   
When Southeast kicked off, Reece Whisenant received the ball and returned it for a touchdown.  Southeast added another touchdown at the 3:34 mark, however, and with the conversion, tied the game at 14.
Southeast scored the only points of the second quarter and took a 22-14 halftime lead, although Ty Strohschein had some good runs and an interception for the Rebels.
Southeast wore Riverside down in the third quarter, scoring three times. Ty Strohschein got one more rushing touchdown for Riverside, which made it 44-20 after three.
In the fourth quarter, Hayden Paxton got an interception and Riverside entered the red zone but turned it over on downs.  Southeast tacked on another touchdown to extend its lead to 50-20.
On the defensive side, Hyson Hill had 3 assisted tackles and 7 unassisted tackles; Loomis Alexander had 5 assisted tackles and 2 unassisted tackles; Ryder Kozisek had 6 assisted tackles and 2 unassisted tackles; Wyatt Daly-Patterson had 1 assisted tackles and 3 unassisted tackles; Avery Clifford had 1 assisted tackle; Hayden Paxton had 3 assisted tackles, 2 unassisted tackles and and interception; Ty Strohschein had 7 assisted tackles, 5 unassisted tackles, a tackle for a loss and an interception; Reece Whisenant had 4 assisted tackles, 2 unassisted tackles, a tackle for a loss and a sack; Camden Schriner had an assisted tackle; Cooper Zierolf had an unassisted tackle and a fumble recovery and Curtis Strohschein had 4 assisted tackles and 4 unassisted tackles.
Ty Strohschein had 29 carries for 285 yards; Reece Whisenant had 4 carries for 6 yards, Hyson Hill had 1 carry for five yards and Hayden Paxton caught one pass for 15 yards.
Riverside ended the season with an overall record of 5-4.  
Among nine-man teams, the Rebels ranked fifth in all-purpose yards with 326 yards per game, 2,610 in total. Riverside ranked fifth in rushing yards with 232 yards per game and 1,852 in total.
Through eight weeks, Riverside had six kids among the top 50 defensive players in nine-man football. Ty Strohschein ranked ninth, Hayden Paxton 31st, Loomis Alexander 33rd, Wyatt Daly-Patterson 34th, Reece Whisenant 35th and Ryder Kosisek 40th.
 “I was really proud of the fight our kids put up the last two weeks against the two teams that I expect to play in the championship game next weekend,” said Coach Jason Mitchell. “The sacrifices that Josh (Wildman) and Avery (Clifford) made to keep our team running smoothly can’t be overstated. Unselfishness is a great sign of where a program currently sits.”
Riverside is moving down to 6-man next year and Coach Mitchell is confident the Rebels will do great things. “Regardless of what class we play in next year, I’m excited to return four starters from the offensive front,” he said. “I can’t wait to see what type of offseason commitment we might get after we had the opportunity to see big-time success within our grasp.”