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Following the season’s first game, McKenzie Coach Wade Comer told the Rebel players if they kept working hard that good things would happen. The Rebels did keep working hard with a close …
Following the season’s first game, McKenzie Coach Wade Comer told the Rebel players if they kept working hard that good things would happen. The Rebels did keep working hard with a close overtime loss to West Carroll, a close loss to Scotts Hill, a near win at TCA during which they led by two scores, a tough loss at Waverly, and then put it together on both sides of the ball at Halls and got the win.
Halls won the toss and chose to defer to the second half giving the ball to McKenzie first. They took advantage moving the ball well up to their own 41 in four plays when Eli found a streaking Tyler Spivey for a 59-yard touchdown with 9:26 left in the first quarter. The extra point was no good leaving the Rebels with an early 6-0 lead.
The Tigers answered on their first possession with a 45-yard run by Brennan Seidel on first down to get in Rebel territory in a hurry. The Rebel’s defense got stingy giving up only short yardage plays and forced a fourth down play at McKenzie 5-yard line. McKenzie stopped the play short of a first down and took over the ball.
The Rebels went three and out and got off a short punt allowing Halls to start their next possession at the McKenzie 35. Bryston Diggs and Stephone Haynes broke through and caught the Tiger runner for a loss. After two short yardage gains, Halls found themselves having to punt back to the Rebels at the end of the opening quarter.
McKenzie went three and out again but a big special teams play put the Rebels in Halls territory when the Tiger punt returner fumbled the ball with McKenzie’s Jaiden Butler recovering the fumble.
The Rebels took advantage moving the ball down to the Halls 11 where Eli Surber connected with DeShun Woodson for an 11-yard touchdown pass with 6:27 left in the second quarter. Surber completed a 2-point conversion pass to Murphy Watkins to make the score 14-0 for the Rebels.
McKenzie’s defense forced a fumble on the next Halls possession giving the Rebels possession at midfield. They ground out yardage behind gains from Surber, Nicholas Bills, and Caleb Gill. Gill found running room on a third and three play and took it 30 yards for a touchdown with 2:52 to play in the half. Diego Calderon split the uprights on the extra point for a 21-0 lead for the Rebels.
On Halls ensuing possession, Stephone Haynes sacked the Tiger quarterback for a loss. The Tiger’s got daring when they executed a fake punt pass completion from Brennan Seidel to Justin Moore on fourth and long yardage and got the first down but the Rebels went into the half with a 21-0 lead.
The Tigers received the kick to start the second half and turned the ball over to the Rebels deep in their own territory. Bryston Diggs recovered the fumble putting the Rebels in business at the Halls 26. McKenzie moved it down to the 14 when a bad handoff resulted in a Halls fumble recovery that was returned back to the Halls 43.
The Tigers moved the ball into McKenzie territory where the Rebels forced them into a fourth and long at McKenzie’s 20. Stephone Haynes batted down a Tiger pass and nearly intercepted it to end their possession.
The two teams swapped possessions into the fourth quarter with McKenzie still leading 21-0. McKenzie’s defense came up with a big play again after Halls blocked a Rebel punt attempt and got possession at the McKenzie 36. After a pass completion gave Halls a first down inside McKenzie’s 20, Murphy Watkins chased the Tiger quarterback and sacked him for a 13-yard loss all the way back to the McKenzie 31.
Halls got their lone score two plays later when Justin Moore completed a ‘hook and ladder’ play to Chandler Nichols for a 48-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good reducing McKenzie’s lead to 21-7 with 7:14 left in the game.
The two teams swapped possessions the rest of the game with the Rebels getting the ball last and running out the clock for the win.
“This is a huge win and confidence builder, ” Said Coach Comer. “We’ve had a lot of kids working hard and they are growing up each and every week.”
The Rebels tallied 289 yards offense with Eli Surber completing 8 of 13 passes for 106 yards and two touchdowns and added 32 more yards rushing. Tyler Spivey caught three of those passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. Bryston Diggs led the rushing effort with 70 yards on the night.
This week McKenzie comes back home after a month on the road and plays host to Adamsville for another region contest. Adamsville is 2-4 on the season losing their last four contests. They are coming off their open date.