Rebels look to improve

Published 3:00 am Thursday, September 3, 2015

After a devastating loss to Providence Christian, the mission heading into week two for Zion Chapel is to learn from last week and put it in the rearview mirror.

With a tough match up in Elba waiting on the Rebels Friday evening, head coach Bradley Bowers has been preaching hard work and the importance of having a short memory.

On Monday before practice coach Bowers handed all the players a sheet of paper to write down their mistakes they noticed while watching game film from the 44-0 loss to Providence Christian. Afterwards the team started the process of looking ahead.

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“We didn’t have to say a whole lot,” Bowers said. “We went out on Monday afternoon and didn’t have a long practice, but we had one of the best practices we have had all year. I think the guys understand that if we want to get better we are going to have to work a lot harder during practice.”

The successful turnaround will have to be quick for coach Bowers and the Rebels, as they hit the road to take on one of the better teams in Class 2A.

“We told the guys that it’s not going to get any easier,” Bowers said. “We have arguably the best football team in 2A on Friday night when we go to Elba. They do so many things well. I told the guys that we should want to play the best so you can see where you stack up. That’s kind of the approach that we are taking this week.”

Elba offers up a few challenges for Zion Chapel especially when the Tigers have possession of the football. The Tigers will line up on offense in multiple sets forcing the defense to make sure they are always in the correct spot on the field.

“We have to make sure we are lined up correctly,” Bowers said. “They may be all lined up in the two tight double wing formation where you can fit everybody in a parking space on one play and the next play they will be completely empty and have players spread out from sideline to sideline. We have to make sure we are in the correct defense with the right play.”

The Rebel coaches will have spent hours watching film in preparation for all the their up coming games this season. Bowers said watching film and changing things up at practice it the best thing for him and staff to do to get ready for games against a tough opponent that present many different challenges, mainly to the defense.

“We do a lot of film study before practice,” Bowers said. “When we are at practice we try and not line up in the same formations for two plays in a row. We want our guys to not sit back and relax. We want them to try and pay attention.”

The Rebels will hit the field on Friday night with the goal of winning. Bowers will also look for victories within the game to validate that the tough week of practice was a success.

“We want to be able to move and take care of the football,” Bowers said. “The thing we really want is for Elba to have to beat us. We don’t want Zion Chapel to beat ourselves. That is our goal this week, to play hard in each and every play and to do what we are supposed to do and at the end of the game we will look at the scoreboard.”

Kick off between the Rebels and the Tigers will be Friday night at 7.

“For us to come out on top we are going to have to play a perfect game,” Bowers said. “We are going to have to have Elba have an off night and maybe overlook us a bit. We are going to have to control the football and keep it out of their hands. Any time they have possession of the football they have the opportunity to score.”