Rebels return home to play Luverne

Published 3:00 am Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Zion Chapel Rebels look to cook up some home field magic when they take on the Luverne Tigers this Friday.

Coming off last week’s 60-3 loss to New Brockton, the Rebels didn’t return to the practice field until Wednesday due to fall break. Head coach Bradley Bowers hopes the short layoff helps his team become rejuvenated and healthy.

“We are trying to get everybody back healthy this week,” Bowers said. “Last week we had a physical ball game. We have some guys with bumps and bruises.”

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Bowers aid the Rebels were beaten badly on both sides of the ball last week, and during the time off Bowers urged his team to clear their minds and return ready to think about football.

“They did a pretty good job at that,” Bowers said. “We got out of our routine a little bit, but I was glad (Wednesday) when the school buses were running and the bells were ringing. Everybody got back into their routine and into the swing of things.”

The Rebels (2-5, 2-3) have only played two home games thus far in 2015 and in those two games the Rebels are 2-0 having defeated both Calhoun 35-18 and Central Hayneville 35-22. If the Rebels have any hope of making the playoffs they will need to win two out of their next three games, all of which are at home.

“We have talked about it,” Bowers said. “It’s not taking anything away from Calhoun or Central but our opponent level is going to go up the next three weeks, but on the other hand we have played well. I feel like if we played the way we played at home against some of the other teams, I’m not saying the outcome would be different, but it would have been a different football game.”

Bowers said the coaches are working to keep the team focused.

“We are not trying to put any added pressure on the guys,” Bowers said. “Friday night we are going to play four quarters and after the first quarter we are going to back and regroup. We ill do the same thing at halftime. We are going to try and do one thing at a time and break things down into smaller battles.”

Luverne (5-3 4-1) comes into the game sitting in a tie for second place with New Brockton, just one game back of region-leading Elba.

“They have one of the best football traditions in the state of Alabama,” Bowers said. “If I’m not mistaking they have made the playoffs in 31 or 32 straight years. They are extremely talented. For us to be successful we are going to have to tackle well and out in space.”

The Tigers offense will spread the Rebels out defensively provide different formations for the Rebels to account for. On defense the Tigers will bring eight guys into the box consistently to try and stop the Rebels running game that has been consistently strong all season long.

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