It was a year in the making but after a 42-20 loss to Country Day in 2018 in which the Cajuns scored on a late trick play after an onside kick in the closing minutes with the game already out of reach, Riverside Academy exacted a bit of revenge with a 36-35 win Friday night in Reserve.
The Rebels trailed 35-28 when the Cajuns were forced to punt from deep in their own territory in the fourth quarter.
A high snap over the Country Day punter went through the end zone, allowing the Rebels to inch two points closer and getting the ball after a free kick.
Riverside quarterback Gage Larvadain scored the last of his five touchdowns on the night with a 3-yard run to put the Rebels on top 36-35.
The Cajuns reached their own 46-yard line in the closing seconds but Country Day quarterback Justin Ibieta fumbled the ball while attempting to run, with Connor Naquin recovering for Riverside to seal the one-point win for the Rebels.
Riverside (3-7 overall, 2-1 in District 9-1A) won two of its last three games to close out the regular season. Entering the game at No. 14 in the Division IV power rankings, the Rebels solidified a spot in the postseason.
Playoff brackets are scheduled to be announced on Sunday.
Country Day ended the regular season 4-4 overall and 1-2 in district play.
Riverside led 20-14 at halftime before the Cajuns rallied in the third quarter.
Tyler Williams returned the second-half kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown to put Country Day on top 21-20.
The Cajuns extended the lead to 28-20 when Ibieta bounced off several would-be Riverside tacklers on his way to a 50-yard touchdown run.
Riverside tied the game on a 7-yard touchdown run by Larvadain but Ibieta countered on a 2-yard run to se the stage for the dramatic finish.
Larvadain accounted for five touchdowns in the game, including four rushing.
Meanwhile, Ibieta topped 200 yards passing and two touchdowns while also rushing for three touchdowns.
Larvadain staked the Rebels to a 6-0 lead on a 10-yard run in the first quarter before Country Day countered on a 15-yard pass from Ibieta to C.D. St. Hilaire for a 7-6 Cajuns edge.
The Riverside quarterback came up with his lone touchdown pass of the game on a 43-yard connection with Tairyn Lockhart to put Riverside back on top.
Williams fumbled on a punt return to give the ball back to Riverside.
The Rebels capitalized when Larvadain scored on a 2-yard run to extend Riverside’s lead to 20-7 in the second quarter.
Ibieta connected with Williams on a 21-yard touchdown pass in the closing minutes of the second quarter to pull the Cajuns to within 20-14 at halftime.