Rebels show determination even in defeat

Published 2:08 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2013

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Despite a gut-wrenching loss to Tarrant in Thorsby’s first region game of the season, coach Billy Jackson came away from the game last week encouraged.

The Rebels could have used a win in the game, which marked the beginning of a difficult region slate–so difficult that THS went 0-7 in region games in 2012.

But the Rebels displayed the kind of effort that Jackson thinks the team can build on for future success.

“We had it right there in our hands,” Jackson said about the 50-44 loss. “We can coach not turning the ball over, we can get better in the passing game. We showed heart and guts. You can’t coach that.”

Thorsby’s offense was impressive from their opening possession, when the Rebels marched methodically down the field and drained 4 minutes off the clock before Jagger Cook scored.

Tarrant displayed a contrasting style on its first possession, scoring on the first play with a runner breaking the defense’s containment on a sweep.

Thorsby took a 14-6 lead (the Rebels blocked Tarrant’s point-after attempt), but then the visitors gained momentum as penalties and Tarrant’s defensive adjustments slowed Thorsby’s offense.

The Wildcats scored just before halftime, and then took the kickoff to begin the second half and scored again, seizing a 35-14 advantage.

Instead of rolling over, Thorsby fought back, and a 60-yard run by quarterback Darius Davis plus the ensuing 2-point conversion gave the Rebels a 44-42 lead.

Davis rushed 26 times for 289 yards and completed 2-of-8 pass attempts for 38 yards.

Thorsby’s defense held and gave the ball back to the offense, but a fumble gave Tarrant another opportunity that it would take advantage of, taking the lead with less than 2 minutes remaining in the game.

With the Rebels offense put in an uncomfortable situation, needing to connect on long pass plays instead of being able to rely on the run, an interception sealed the victory for Tarrant.

“We kind of got out of our rhythm,” Jackson said. “Our quarterback was beating himself up over it, but without him we wouldn’t have even had the opportunity to be in that position.”

The Rebels finished the game with 455 rushing yards.