Rebels victorious in OT, beat Highland Home 21-20

Published 12:27 am Saturday, September 17, 2011

HIGHLAND HOME – After allowing Highland Home to roll up 223 yards of offense in the first half, the Zion Chapel Rebels grounded the Flying Squadron over the final two quarters, winning 21-20 in overtime.

The Rebel defense came alive over the final 24 minutes and pitched a shutout, allowing negative three yards over the final two stanzas.

“I challenged the guys at half time and told them that we had to take over this game defensively and they did just that” said Zion Chapel defensive coordinator Bradley Bowers, with an exhausted smile.

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Zion never led the contest until the final kick off the foot of LaMarcus Adair in overtime on an extra point, but they also never allowed Highland Home to get a comfortable lead.

After the Squadron drove the ball 63 yards to pay dirt on the opening possession of the game, Zion responded with a quick scoring possession.

Running back Brennan Schindler took the delayed handoff from Adair, made a move at the line of scrimmage, bounced off at least two defenders and raced down the sideline for a 50-yard touchdown romp.

Schindler’s run tied the game up.

Highland Home responded late in the second quarter with a 16 play, 80-yard drive that put them ahead 14-7 at the half.

“I’ real proud of our kids,” said head coach Mike Waters. “We left a couple of touchdowns out there in the first half, but we were able to overcome it.”

And over come it they did.

Zion racked up 186 yards in the final two quarters and only allowed Highland Home to run 12 plays in the final 24 minutes, with three of those being punts.

Dustin Riggsbee scored on a hard run up the middle to tie the game once again.

The Rebels had a chance to win in the waning seconds of regulation but Adair’s 23 yard field goal attempt went wide left.

In the overtime period both teams scored on the second play of their possession, but Highland Home missed their extra point attempt while the Rebels hit theirs, capping of the tense 21-20 win.

“We came out and played hard in the second half,” said Rebel linebacker Blake Powell. “We have been busting out butts this year. We aren’t the same ole Zion Chapel.”

Zion Chapel takes a week off from region play next Friday with a trip to Kinston.

The road game will be the third in as many weeks for the Rebels.

“Coach Wambles (Kinston head coach) does a terrific job,” said Waters. “They will be well coached and well disciplined and will play hard.”

Bowes, Powell and Waters agreed on the feeling in the air in Jack is different than it has been in a long time.

“Everyone is excited about what’s going on, and we (coaches and players) are to,” said Waters. “But I have been in this game a long time, and it can change in a hurry. We just have to play our game, one week at a time.”