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Zion Chapel too much for Eagles

While Goshen celebrated homecoming, Zion Chapel cerebrated

its third consecutive victory as the Rebels beat the Eagles 43-24 Friday night.

&uot;Physically, we didn't match up with them,&uot; Thornton said. &uot;It all comes down to the weight room.&uot;

The first half played like a tennis match.

When the Rebels scored, the Eagles wouldn't waste much time in answering.

The first five possessions all led to touchdowns.

&uot;I thought we did great in the first half,&uot; Thornton said. &uot;The coaches had a really good game plan.&uot;

After three consecutive first downs, Zion Chapel's Joey Jones took a handoff from quarterback Abe Childs and scored from a yard out. It capped a 7-play, 85-yard drive. Logan Carnley's PAT was good, putting the Rebels up 7-0.

The Eagles answered with a dramatic touchdown of their own a minute later. Judson Ricks connected on a pass to Derrick Owens, who outran three Rebels for the touchdown on a play that covered 80 yards. A flag on the play muted the celebration from the packed Goshen stands, but the penalty was defensive holding and the touchdown stood.

Owens led the Eagles with five receptions for 112 yards. He also led them defensively with nine tackles.

Marquez Maddox ran the ball in from Ricks' handoff, putting the Eagles in the lead 8-7.

However, the Eagles lost the lead 30 seconds later.

After a 58-yard kickoff return, Childs ran the ball in 22-yards, taking back the lead for the Rebels. The PAT failed, leaving Zion Chapel ahead 13-8.

The Eagles didn't stay down. C.C. Faulkner scored on a 1-yard run with 3:27 left in the first quarter. It capped a nine-play, 59-yard drive. The two-point conversion pass from Ricks to Maddox get the Eagles a 16-13 advantage.

Zion Chapel came right back. Twelve seconds into the second quarter, Hunter Wise scored on a 9-yard touchdown run. Childs passed to Jones for the two-point conversion and a 21-16 lead.

Once again, the Eagles fought their way back.

Same quarterback, different receiver.

Ricks' pass to Jerome Cade covered 6 yards, finishing off a 10-play, 72-yard drive. He also threw a two-point pass to Tyreese Wingard that sent the Eagles to a 24-21 lead.

Wingard preserved that advantage at halftime when he intercepted a pass with 1:48 left in the first half.

In the second half, Zion Chapel turned to its quarterback, Childs, and he delivered. He finished with 224 yards rushing and four touchdowns on 26 carries. He scored his second touchdown of the game with 8:38 left in the third quarter on a 3-yard run. He also scored the two-point conversion that made it 29-24.

Childs added an 8-yard touchdown carry with 3:08 left in the half, capping a six-play, 55-yard drive. The point after failed, leaving the score 35-24.

The final score came early in the fourth quarter, set up when Zion Chapel's Cory Carter intercepted a pass at his own 47. Seven plays later, Childs scored on a 10-yard run. Joey Jones flipped a two-point pass to Lee Parson that made it 43-24 with 9:04 remaining in the game.

Ricks had his best passing game of the season, throwing for 266 yards and completing 19 of 34 passes. He threw two touchdown passes and one interception.

&uot;(Ricks) did as well as any quarterback around,&uot; Thornton said. &uot;The second half we had some mistakes and we missed a few tackles.&uot;

ZCHS finished with 416 rushing yards. Jones rushed nine times for 98 yards.

Last week, the Eagles suffered from too many fumbles.

This week they were able to hold onto the ball.

&uot;Overall, we're getting better,&uot; Thornton said. &uot;But it all comes down to who's bigger, faster and stronger. They wore us down physically. They're too young to keep making the big plays. It's hard for a 13-year-old to tackle an 18-year-old.&uot;

Thornton was proud of the team for not becoming distracted by the homecoming festivities.

&uot;The kids did a great job coming out and executing, not being distracted,&uot; Thornton said. &uot;They're real mature for their age.&uot;

Next week, the team travels to Ariton to take on the Purple Cats.