Rebels welcome back rivalry with win

Published 11:32 pm Thursday, August 23, 2018

Thorsby defeated Jemison on the football field for the second time in the history of the rivalry after a 44-26 victory by the Rebels on Aug. 23.

According to Thorsby head coach Daryl Davis, the pregame talk to the players was about going out with the goal of making history.

“They’ll be known for that,” Davis said. “I’m proud of them.”

The only other victory for Thorsby came 48 years ago in 1970.

The game lived up to the hype, with both teams trading scoring drives on multiple occasions throughout the game.

Thorsby (1-0) led 28-20 at halftime, but outscored the Panthers (0-1) 16-6 in the second half to eventually extend the margin for good.

“In the second half, we made some defensive adjustments,” Thorsby senior Tyler Jackson said. “We knew they were running the Sally [counter] and the sweep on us, so we changed up our defensive fronts and our looks.”

Jacob Lockhart, Chase Birchfield and Jackson each found the end zone more than once for the Rebels.

Birchfield showed off his versatility with a pair of touchdown runs and also completed a designed halfback pass to Jackson for another score. It was the first of two receiving touchdowns hauled in by Jackson on the night.

Lockhart was dangerous in the open field with a touchdown run of his own to go with an 85-yard kickoff return to the house.

“They all went to the outside, and there was a big ole’ hole in the middle, and that’s where it was designed to go,” Lockhart said about what he saw on the kickoff return.

Lockhart gained 100 yards on 13 carries on the night.

“The [offensive] line did really good tonight,” Lockhart said. “I was amazed that there were so many holes that you could find. It makes it easy on me, because they’re doing all the hard work. I just have to get the ball and run.”

Jemison’s scoring included a pair of short yardage runs by Deonte Williams as well as touchdown runs by Daniel Martin and J.T. Taylor.

It was the first time that the two teams had played each other since 1995, and fans from both teams showed up in droves to witness the rekindling of the rivalry.

Attendance for the game was roughly 2,300.

“When we walked up, it [the stadium] was as filled as I’ve ever seen it,” Jackson said.

Despite the loss, Jemison still leads the series with a record of 14-2.