Rebels’ second half comeback stuns Ranburne

Published 10:03 am Saturday, October 21, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

Thorsby High School put itself in the driver’s seat for a first-round home playoff game with a 22-12 comeback win over Ranburne High School on Oct. 20. The Rebels moved to 5-1 in AHSAA Class 2A Region 4 play with one region game remaining.

The two-hour, 120-mile trek to the Georgia-Alabama state line for Thorsby had the Rebels sputtering out of the gate. Ranburne jumped ahead with two rushing touchdowns in the first half, but both point after tries were no good to leave the game at 12-0 at halftime.

“Any time you have a two-hour bus ride, it is hard to get yourself going. We came out a little flat,” Thorsby head coach Daryl Davis said. “They were doing something different than what we saw on film, and once we made some adjustments to what they were trying to do, we went right down the field and scored. Our guys just picked it up after halftime.”

Thorsby came out quick and efficient in the second half as quarterback Grayson McManus punched in a four-yard touchdown run to get Thorsby on the board. Nate Thomas converted the two-point conversion run to cut the Ranburne lead down to 12-8.

McManus remained hot to start the second half, this time with his arm finding Brooks Barnett for a 40-yard touchdown pass to give Thorsby a 14-12 lead. McManus was 6-for-12 passing for 74 yards and a touchdown. Barnett made three catches for 44 yards.

With less than a minute left in the quarter, Thomas extended the Thorsby lead to 20-12 with a seven-yard touchdown run. Opposite of the first touchdown, McManus converted the two-point conversion run to push the advantage to 22-12, and all but over going into the fourth quarter where the Rebels held on for the road win.

The Rebels ran for 269 rushing yards, led by McManus with 121 of them followed by Coden Cummings with 114 yards.

Malachi Allgood led the Rebels’ defense with 14 tackles, followed by McManus with 12 and Tyler Lockhart with 11 to round out the double-digit tacklers. The defense piled up a season-high six sacks with Allgood claiming two and a half of them, McManus one and a half and Lockhart and N’ky Nunn each having one. Cummings also pulled down an interception.

“Vincent has got a good team, has been ranked in the top 10, has a really good (running) back and I am sure they will be ready,” Davis said. “Glad we have them at home … That is what we are going to drive home all week is ‘Our fate is in our hands, and we do not have to worry about anyone else.’”

Thorsby (6-2) hosts Vincent High School on Oct. 27 in its next matchup, and its final region game of the season. With a win, Thorsby will lock up the second seed from the region and secure a home first-round playoff game. A loss would put Thorsby, Vincent and Isabella High School (with a win against Woodland High School on Oct. 27) all at 5-2 in the region.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.