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Rebels win region opener on final play

In a game that will be remembered for quite some time, the Thorsby Rebels defeated Francis Marion 29-28 after Jacob Lockhart reached the ball over the goal line for a touchdown run as time expired.

It was the culmination of a methodical two-minute drive, in which starting quarterback Christian Fortner picked apart the Francis Marion defense through the air and found Grayson Bice on more than one occasion to keep the drive alive.

“We practice that [two-minute drill] every day so you’re ready when you get the chance,” Thorsby head coach Daryl Davis said.

After two passes that fell just incomplete, the Rebels had one last shot at the end zone with 4.5 seconds left in the game.

The play call was a sweep for Lockhart around the right side and was executed to perfection.

“I had a lot of confidence in my outside receivers to block for me, and I just knew that if I could get to the corner it would be all good,” Lockhart said.

He took the hand off and proceeded to follow his blockers around the edge of the defense and was initial hit short of the end zone, but stretched the ball out over the pie line as his momentum carried him out of bounds.

After a dramatic pause, the referee stuck two hands in the air signaling touchdown and the end of the contest.

“It was live or die right there, and they got it together,” Davis said.

The win carried even more weight, as it was the region opener for the Rebels who improved to 2-0 overall on the season and 1-0 in Region 4-2A.