Rebels staying on course

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Zion Chapel Rebels suffered more growing pains in their 47-0 loss to region foe New Brockton on Friday night.

The loss for the Rebels leaves them still waiting for their first win of the season after their 0-3 start under first year head coach Randy Bryant.

“The outcome is not what we wanted,” Bryant said. “Two weeks ago, we were down 6-0 at the half. Last week we were down 19-0 at the half. I thought it was a learning experience for the kids. We turned the ball over way too much offensively. On defense, we try to work on tackling every day, but it has not improved to where it needs to be for us to be a good football team.”

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It has been a slow process so far for Bryant in his first three games as head coach. He has tried to install a new offense that is radically different than the one they ran last year. The Rebels are trying to overcome the growing pains that go along with changing a culture.

“Since I have gotten here, there has been a plan and a blueprint,” Bryant said. “We have been following that. We are doing things the right way; it’s just that we have not been able to do things from a player standpoint the right way. It’s growing pains.”

The offense had some success against the Gamecocks. They had three drives that exceeded 10 plays, but in every occasion they came up empty on the scoreboard.

“We are moving the football– we are just not able to finish drives for whatever reason,” Bryant said. “Turnovers have killed us. We haven’t had too many stupid turnovers, so we are trying to continue to work and improve offensively.”

The Rebels have had to deal with a challenging schedule so far this season. They have played just one game at home and had to play Houston County, Central Hayneville and New Brockton.

“While we have played some good teams, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be able to compete with those guys,” Bryant said. “We have the opportunity to compete with those guys; we just have not held up our end of the bargain.”

Even with the losses, Bryant is glad to have the challenging schedule.

“I don’t want to play bad teams and get a false sense of where we are,” Bryant said. “I have been very pleased to play the teams that we have played.”

The next challenge for the Rebels will be Luverne on Friday night.

“Luverne is traditionally one of those storied teams,” Bryant said. “They are an athletic team. They spread the football out just like we do on offense. They do a lot of the things we do on defense, so it’s kind of a mirror image scheme-wise.”

Kick off is scheduled for 7 p.m.