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McKenzie’s Middle School Rebels ran their record to 7-0 Thursday with a win over Henderson North to close out the home portion of their schedule. It was eighth grade night as players, …
McKenzie’s Middle School Rebels ran their record to 7-0 Thursday with a win over Henderson North to close out the home portion of their schedule. It was eighth grade night as players, cheerleaders, and managers were honored before the contest.
The game itself got off to a sluggish start for both teams as it was very hot and humid for a September night. North Henderson won the toss and elected to receive to start the game. They got nowhere on the first two plays and found themselves in a third and long situation and having to throw. Zack Aird picked off the pass giving the Rebels good field position at their own 38.
McKenzie wasted no time getting the ball moving mixing runs between Etijay Tharpe and Jackson Cassidy and one lone pass covering 16 yards from Cassidy to Rashad McCreary. The drive chewed up much of the first quarter clock with Cassidy scoring on a 4-yard keeper. Their 2-point conversion attempt was good for an 8-0 lead with 1:03 left in the opening quarter.
After a short kickoff, Henderson North answered with a drive that carried over into the second quarter keeping the ball on the ground behind the running of Javonn Thomas and Devin Bryant. Thomas scored on a 14-yard run for Henderson North with the 2-point conversion attempt no good with 5:41 left in the second quarter.
The Rebels got the ball in good field position on the ensuing kickoff at their own 44 and launched another drive that went deep into North Henderson territory until they fumbled it away at the Henderson 20. North Henderson was only able to get off a few plays before the second quarter clock ran out with the score 8-6 in favor of the Rebels.
McKenzie got the ball first to open the third quarter and wasted no time moving into North Henderson’s end of the field on a screen pass from Jackson Cassidy to Etijay Tharpe that went for 28 yards. The rest was on the ground with keepers by Cassidy and a 13-yard sweep around the left side by Tharpe for a touchdown with 5:10 left in the third quarter. The 2-point conversion run attempt was no good leaving the Rebels with a 14-6 lead.
Both teams had a case of fumblitis on back to back plays with North Henderson fumbling the kickoff with the Rebels recovering and the Rebels fumbled it right back to Henderson on their first down play near midfield.
North Henderson moved the ball into McKenzie territory before getting stopped on a fourth down play at the Rebel 36. McKenzie took over possession just before the third quarter clock ran out. On the first play of the final quarter. Tharpe made several North Henderson players miss him at the line of scrimmage on the way to a 71-yard touchdown run with 7:39 left in the game. A two-point conversion pass from Cassidy to Bryson Steele was good for a 22-6 lead.
Both teams swapped possessions the remainder of the game with the Rebels coming away with the win.
Etijay Tharpe rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns followed by Jackson Cassidy with another 50 yards and a score.
This week, an undefeated season is on the line as the Rebels close out the season at Camden. Game time is 6:30.