FRIDAY NIGHT PREVIEW: Rebels look to replicate run to playoffs

Published 12:40 pm Thursday, September 3, 2015

As disappointed as Rebels players, coaches and fans were about Thorsby’s 27-8 loss to rival Verbena last week, they can take heart.

Two thousand fifteen is looking a lot like 2014, and that should be a good thing for the Rebels.

Last year, Thorsby won its opener convincingly (32-7) over Holtville. Then came two consecutive losses, to Verbena (14-6) and Pickens County (42-7).

Though the final score in the loss to Pickens County, a perennial power, wasn’t close, the Rebels were competitive in the game, and coach Billy Jackson said the team’s performance marked a turning point in the season.

After Pickens County, Thorsby reeled off six consecutive wins on its way to clinching a playoff berth. THS had won only four games in the previous three seasons.

So, here the Rebels are again, sitting at 1-1 with a game at 7 p.m. Friday against Pickens, which is ranked No. 10 in the state’s Class 2A classification in the latest Alabama Sports Writers Association poll.

If the team is to complete the same type of turnaround as last season, it will need to be better than it was against Verbena on both sides of the ball.

Who will win the Pickens Co.-Thorsby game?

  • Pickens Co. (89%, 34 Votes)
  • Thorsby (11%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 38

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In the loss to the Red Devils, Thorsby could manage multiple first downs on only two possessions. The first of those drives came at the end of the first half and ended with a touchdown run by Kevin Mims and 2-point conversion by quarterback Conner McRae to give the Rebels their only lead of the game.

It appeared Thorsby would maintain the momentum on its first possession of the second half, but Verbena’s defense stiffened and yielded little the rest of the game.

The Rebels defense, meanwhile, allowed 20 second-half points after a solid performance in the first half. Too often, the Red Devils found wide running lanes and open receivers in the passing game.

If Thorsby can fix those issues and prove to itself against Pickens County that it can compete at a high level, another playoff berth is a possibility.

After last season, no one should be doubting the Rebels.


•Loachapoka (0-1) at Billingsley (0-1)

•Pell City (1-1) at Chilton Co. (2-0)

•Jemison (0-2) at Dallas Co. (0-1)

•A.L. Johnson (0-2) at Isabella (0-1)

•Autaugaville (2-0) at Verbena (1-0)

–All games begin at 7 p.m.