Zion Chapel to face Providence Christian Friday

Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Zion Chapel Rebels are looking forward to their first official game of the season Friday night when they hit the road to face Providence Christian school in Dothan.

Last week’s scheduled preseason opener against Pleasant Home was delayed nearly an hour and a half and play was shortened to just two quarters, leaving the Rebels with a disappointing 12-0 loss to Pleasant Home.

The Rebels are looking for calmer weather and better play this Friday evening in Dothan.

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“We have had a really good week of practice and I feel like if we control the things that we can control we will be OK,” said Rebel head coach Bradley Bowers.

This Friday’s game will be a rematch of last season’s matchup against Providence Christian, a game that saw the Eagles defeat the Rebels thanks in large part to costly turnovers.

“We don’t have any film on them so we are going to have to base everything on what we saw from them last year,” Bowers said. “They are going to show us something different than what they showed us before. Providence has changed quite a bit over the last five years, but they’re all small changes.”

Last year’s matchup between the two teams was a very close game that was decided by six Rebel turnovers. Three of the turnovers came on three straight kick off returns.

“We are going to have to make sure that we take care of the football Friday night,” Bowers said. “We are going to have cut down on the turnovers through all four quarters.”

Due to the inclement weather a week ago the Rebels are somewhat behind when it comes live game action. Bowers believes that even they have yet to play a full four-quarter game; his team will be mentally and physically ready to take on Providence.

“Last week we were down three players, and this week we will be able to have all three of those guys back so they will be able to help us step back in their roles,” Bowers said. “It’s not supposed to be humid Friday so hopefully we can avoid having any cramps. I think we will be ok in that aspect.”

One thing that the Rebels look to carry over this week is the success they had in the running game against Pleasant home. The Rebels rushed for over 100 yards in the two quarters of play; they were led by senior Chase Peoples.

“We kind of build on the power running game. We tell the guys that the game is kind of like a heavyweight bout,” Bowers said. “You have to keep jabbing at your opponent. Later in the third and fourth quarters, if you keep jabbing, they turn into knock out punches.”

Being a physical football team takes more than having a powerful running game. You need to be physical on both sides of the ball. Bowers believes that every defense needs to have that one leader or “alpha dog” on both sides of the ball but especially on defense.

With the Rebels shifting from camp mode to preseason mode and into the game week preparations the Rebel coaching staff does not change much of their weekly schedule.

“It’s not a whole lot different than the approach that we take throughout the fall camp,” Bowers said. “One of the days we go back and fix what we need to work on while yesterday (Tuesday) we worked on what we expect to see out of Providence.”

Kick off between the Rebels and Providence will be Friday night at 7 in Dothan.