Rebels holding on

Published 3:00 am Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Zion Chapel Rebels head into Friday night’s contest with rival Goshen holding onto slim hopes of reaching the playoffs.

“The guys know the importance of the game Friday night,” Rebels head coach Bradley Bowers said. “Goshen is coming in here in hopes of locking down a playoff spot. We told our guys that this is a playoff atmosphere.”

The Rebels (2-5, 2-6), who have two wins at home this season, hope the home field magic continues when the Eagles invade Greene Memorial Stadium.

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Zion Chapel enters the game having been outplayed the last two weeks by two of the better teams within the region in Luverne and New Brockton. The Rebels have been outscored in the last two weeks by a total of 101-13.

“We are hoping that we are going to show up and play our best game,” Bowers said. “We are going to have to have Goshen make some mistakes and be off their game a little bit. It’s one of those games that if you can’t get up to play it, you’re probably playing the wrong sport.”

The Rebels will have to contend with an Eagles team that has improved each week and is the midst of playing their best football.

“They have gotten better each week,” Bowers said. “Coach Snyder has done a real good job at keeping his guys in focus. For us to be successful this week we are going to have some stuff fall our way. We need to make some big plays and be sound in the kicking game.”

A win for the Rebels and a loss for Highland Home, who is playing the number one ranked team in the state in Elba, will force a three-way tie for fourth place in the region. The top four teams make the playoffs and if there are more than two teams tied for the spot, a tiebreaker will be implemented.

“Is there is a lot more emphasis being put on this game? There probably is,” Bowers said. “We want to win this game. We haven’t coached any different this week than we have in the past. I have noticed the guys are a little more focused this week. This is a really big game for them.”

This game will have the most impact on the two seniors on the roster: Justin Mobley and Daniel Peoples.

When the two seniors were just freshman they had the opportunity to dress as freshman and experience a similar situation of needing to beat Goshen to have a chance at making the playoffs.

“These guys have been through a lot,” Bowers said. “They were part of the rebuilding team in 2013 when the Rebels went 0-10 and they helped build the foundation a year ago when we won two games. Noting would be more fitting to them, with they way they have persevered and stuck with it, if they could pull out a win on Friday night and to have a chance at making the playoffs.”

The Rebels and Eagles will battle for a shot at the playoffs Friday night when they kick things off at Greene Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.