Rebels outlast Jaguars

Published 11:25 pm Friday, August 25, 2017

First year head coach Randy Bryant and Zion Chapel cruised to a 29-12 victory against the Barbour County Jaguars in Friday night’s jamboree.

Each team got off to a slow start in the preseason game, combining for 75 yards of offense in the first half.

The Zion Chapel Rebels opened the game with what would have been a 35 yard completion between junior quarterback Andrew Senn and junior wide receiver Hunter Sheets but the pass was dropped.

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The Rebels would pick up one first down before punting. After forcing the Jaguars into a three and out, Senn tossed an interception to cut short the Rebels’ second drive.

Barbour County struggled to make any headway with its offense early on as well with quarterback Jaylin Robinson misfiring on several throws. Penalties were a drive killer for the Jaguars- incurring 13 in the first half alone- and killed any momentum gained.

Late in the first quarter, Zion Chapel put together a sound drive that featured multiple strong runs from Senn and junior running back Hunter Oswald. The drive ended, however, with a turnover on downs inside the redzone.

The Jaguars then put together its best drive, completing its first two passes of the game for a total of 17 yards. The drive was stalled by penalties at midfield and Barbour County punted.

The Rebels hit the ground running in the second quarter, registering 47 rushing yards on six carries from four different ball carriers to open the quarter. Sophomore Nathan Grantham punched it in from three yards out to make the score 6-0 before the missed extra point.

The Jags opened their next drive with a 22-yard run by Robinson but it was ended when Robinson threw an interception into the hands of junior Trey Morrow.

Oswald, who finished the game with 113 yards on 12 carries, spearheaded the next Rebel which ended in a 12 yard connection between Senn and junior receiver Skyler Nalley in the endzone. It was Senn’s first completed pass after missing on his first 10 attempts.

Zion Chapel went for two after the touchdown and converted with a quarterback draw to push the Rebel lead up to 14-0.

Moments later, junior Rebel Bret Flowers picked off a Robinson throw and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. Another two point conversion later and the score was 22-0.

Robinson then put together several long runs to put the Jags in position to score but the half ended before they could find the endzone. Robinson had 76 of the Jags’ 113 rushing yards in the first half.

Oswald led the Rebels in first half rushing yards with 82 rushing yards while Senn had 32 yards before sacks.

The Jaguars found success running the ball in third quarter and finally made their way into the endzone after a 46 yard run by Keyshawn Blackshire set a one yard dive by Robinson. After the unsuccessful two point conversion, the score was 22-6.

Barbour County would threaten again in the quarter but a third Robinson interception, this time picked by Grantham, ended the drive.

Late in the quarter, Senn found a rhythm and led a scoring drive that was capped with a 14 yard touchdown pass to Sheets. The extra point made the score 29-6.

Senn was three for four with 24 yards on the drive. He ended the game 5 for 16 for 51 yards and two touchdowns.

In the fourth quarter, each time traded three and outs with their reserves in the game before Barbour County completed an 85 yard touchdown pass as time expired to make the final score 29-12.

Coach Bryant was pleased with his team’s effort but acknowledges that there is still room for improvement.

“I felt like this was a pretty good growing moment for our team,” Bryant said. “Bryant is really athletic and we play a lot of great teams in our region.

“I felt like coming out on top tonight was a big step for our program. There was a time or two where we could’ve kind of shut it down and we didn’t so we’ve been talking to our kids about our core beliefs and things we try to preach to them every day.”

Zion Chapel will open up regular season play at Houston County on September 1st at 7:00 pm.