Zion Chapel downs Pleasant Home, 43-21

Published 12:27 am Saturday, August 27, 2011

JACK – Zion Chapel controlled Pleasant Home from the first play and never looked back winning 43-21.

The Rebels never trailed in the contest, en route to their first win in a season opener since 2006.

“We used that (the losing streak) as a tool all week” said head coach Mike Waters. “It was a point of emphasis this week, and we broke that streak.”

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The Rebels forced a fumble on the first offensive play of the game and LaMarcus Adiar later booted a 29-yard field goal to give Zion Chapel an early 3-0 lead.

Zion Chapel led the Eagles 17-7 at the half, and behind the hard running of Dustin Riggsbee the Rebels pulled away late. Riggsbee finished the night with 127 yards rushing, with almost all of them coming in the fourth quarter as the Eagle defense wore down.

“Riggs only weighs about 160 lbs, but runs as hard as someone that’s much bigger” Waters said. “He is a tough kid to bring down and great person to be around,”

Though the majority of the Rebels offense came on the ground, Mickey Cox and the receiving corps were able to make some big plays through the air. The highlight of the passing game came when Cox found Lawson Amlong streaking down the sideline behind the Eagle defense. Cox lofted a beautiful pass that hit Amlong in stride to blow the game open early in the second half. The touchdown was Cox’s second on the night. The first came on a “swinging gate” fake field goal.

“When you have been in this game 30 years, you have one or two up your sleeve and I used one tonight” said the Zion Chapel head coach with an ear-to-ear grin.

Waters also cited the conditioning of his team as a vital part of why the Rebels were able to blow the game open in the second half.

“It’s hard to get the kids to buy in to running, but when you can show them the good it does, it helps a lot.”

Zion Chapel will open region play next Friday night when the Calhoun Tigers come to the friendly confines of Greene Memorial Stadium.

“We went over to their place last year and one of the worst games that we have ever had since I came to Zion” said Waters. “I’m sure they will have some skill guys that can make plays, but we are improved and ready to work.”

Waters couldn’t contain his joy after the game.

“I’m just so proud of our guys. They have worked hard, and it’s great to see it pay off.