Rebels roll to win in first game

Published 1:25 am Saturday, August 23, 2014

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Full speed ahead: Thorsby senior Kevin Owens runs for yardage on Friday.

Full speed ahead: Thorsby senior Kevin Owens runs for yardage on Friday.

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser

Thorsby couldn’t have planned a better start to its 2014 football season than Friday night’s commanding win against Class 4A Holtville, 32-7.

Coach Billy Jackson and the Rebels offense wasted little time in going right after the heart of the Bulldogs with a little trickeration on a perfectly executed double reverse pass from Conner McRae to Brad Stange for a 38-yard completion to set up the Rebels at the Bulldogs’ 23-yard line.

“We ran the same play last year against Verbena,” Jackson said. “We said we were one-for-one with it, so we might as well try it again.”

The Rebels picked up one more first down on the drive to move the ball down to the Bulldogs’ 4 before stalling on a fourth down attempt.

The THS defense forced the Bulldogs to a three-and-out that would set up Thorsby’s second possession of the game at the Bulldogs 42-yard line.

On a fourth-and-two from the Bulldogs’ 13, Kevin Owens broke through the offensive line for a touchdown to give the Rebels a 6-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

After another three-and-out by the Bulldogs, the Rebels took over again, this time from their own 44.

With a second-and-10 from their own 44, Chris Brown broke loose from 56 yards out for his first of three touchdowns in the first half to give the Rebels a 12-0 lead.

Brown was far from done in the first half as he added two more touchdown runs in the first half with runs of 23 and 34 yards.

The Bulldogs finally got on the board late in the second period on a Josh Thompson to Reece Burbage 16-yard touchdown pass to cut the Rebels lead to 26-6 at the half.

While the Rebel offense struggled in the second half to find the same momentum that it had in the first, the defense continued to plague the Bulldogs throughout the second half.

As the game went into the fourth quarter, the Rebels found themselves facing a third-and-five from the Bulldogs’ 19-yard line.

McRae took the snap from the shotgun and lobbed a pass into the end zone to Stange for another Rebels touchdown to bring the game to its final score.

“We came out the first half and played real hard, but right there toward the end of the first half we got a little lethargic, and a little tired, but that is just conditioning,” Jackson said.

Brown led the Rebels’ ground attack with 156 yards on 13 carries.

Dustin Shackelford and Ken Mims led the defense for the Rebels with eight tackles each, including three tackles for a loss of yards.

D.J. Gardner led the Bulldogs’ running game with 22 yards on seven carries.