Rebels dream season ends in playoff loss

Published 12:32 am Saturday, November 5, 2011

Zion Chapel High School players react following a 22-10 loss to Barbour County in a football game in Jack, Ala., Friday, Nov. 4, 2011. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

It is spoken by every football coach in the state, “Speed kills.”

The old adage stood true Friday night in Jack, as the speed of Barbour County killed the dream season for the Rebels of Zion Chapel. The Jaguars outlasted Zion 22-10 in the first home playoff game for the Rebels since 1991.

Barbour County held a 14-0 lead at the end of the first half, thanks enlarge to the relentless pursuit of the Jaguar defense.

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Zion Chapel could muster only 74 yards in the first half.

“We really underestimated the speed on defense,” said head coach Mike Waters. “We knew they had some athletes, but until you see it in person, you don’t really know.”

The Rebels opened the contest in their traditional I-formation attack; along with some spread formations, but found little room with either.

Coming out of the lockeroom in the second half, Waters installed a Wing T style rush offense that began moving the chains on the Rebels initial possession of the half. Zion marched the football down the field 57 yards in nine plays, but was stopped just inches from the goal line on a fourth down run.

The Rebel defense responded on the very next play.

Quilius Sandford shot the gap and wrapped up the Barbour County quarterback in the end zone for a safety. Sandford has recorded both Rebel safeties of the 2011 season.

“Our defense played well at times,” said Bradley Bowers, Zion Chapel defensive coordinator. “We had players in position to make plays, but their (Barbour County) athletic ability turned two or three yard gains, in to 12 yards and first downs.”

A late scoring drive and defensive stand by the Rebels made the fans remain in their seats for the entire contest, but it was too little, too late for Zion.

Clint Wise, in his last game in red and black, led the Rebel defense with nine tackles, followed by fellow seniors Blake Powell and Lawson Amlong with six each.

LaMarcus Adair finished the night with 109 yards rushing and one touchdown on 23 carries, while completing 3-7 passes for 56 yards. All three of Adair’s passed were caught by Brennan Schindler.

“We were just a little out manned tonight,” said Waters after the contest. “We had a good year and broke down some walls, but we have to continue to get better in the off season and get ready to go in 2012”