Rebels cruise into second round

Published 12:06 am Saturday, November 11, 2017

By Brandon Sumrall | Special to the Advertiser
With a dominating 42-14 win over the Geneva County Bulldogs (6-5 Overall; 4-2 Region) on Nov. 10, the Thorsby Rebels (8-2 Overall; 5-1 Region) advanced to round two of the Class 2A AHSAA state football playoffs.

Down 7-0, Thorsby completions of 26 and 16 yards between quarterback Christian Fortner and Cain Niece moved the Rebels down to the Geneva 26-yard line, where Chase Birchfield capped the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.

With Fortner adding the two-point conversion, the Rebels took an 8-7 lead.

The Bulldogs looked poised to answer the Rebel touchdown on their ensuing possession, but a fourth and 10 play at the Thorsby 27 saw Geneva put the ball on the turf and scooped up by the Rebels and returned all the way down to the Bulldogs 2-yard line.

Two plays later, Birchfield gave the Rebels a 16-7 lead.

The second turnover of the night came on the next Geneva possession, as Kobe Davis recovered a Bulldogs fumble at its own 27-yard line.

Three plays later, Fortner found the end zone from 23 yards out to give Thorsby a 22-7 lead at the half.

Thorsby started its first possession of the second half at its own 26-yard line, where a pair of big first downs by Jacob Lockhart and Tucker Patterson moved the Rebels out across midfield.

An incomplete pass on first down, saw the Rebels facing a second and 10 when Fortner broke lose for a 45-yard touchdown run that put the Rebels out in front 28-7.

The Bulldogs scored, but the Rebels answered in turn thanks to a 32-yard touchdown run by Birchfield.

With 7:08 remaining in the third, Thorsby led 34-14.

Fortner completed a big first down to Niece and moved the Rebels down inside the red zone.

On a fourth and 1 at the Geneva 11, Fortner found the end zone for his third rushing touchdown of the night to bring the score to its final.

“They played great, played hard.  They were a better team than what the score indicated, they had a good plan and all,” Thorsby head coach Daryl Davis said. “We have to cut down on the penalties and make sure that we don’t turn the ball over. Just like the rest of the year, they come out and played hard and physical and forced our will on them. I’m proud of all of them.”

Fortner ended the night with 108 yards rushing on 14 attempts with three touchdowns, while adding 151 yards through the air on 10 of 12 passing with one touchdown.

The Rebels will be on the road for round two on Nov. 17 to take on the Goshen Eagles (10-1; 5-1).