Zion Chapel Football moves into new region

Published 11:45 am Monday, June 3, 2024

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The Zion Chapel Rebels are heading into 2024 as one of the newest members of Class 2A, Region 3 and are hungry for a return to the playoffs.

Zion Chapel moves back into Region 3 after spending the past four seasons as a part of Region 2. The Rebels previously competed in Region 3 from 2012 through 2019. In fact, the Rebels’ last time making the playoffs was their last year in Region 3.

Getting back to the playoffs – a Rebel goal in 2024 – will be no easy task with one of the tougher regions in 2A. Zion Chapel has made the playoffs just one time – that 2019 season – in the past 12 years. Zion Chapel joins Goshen, Pike Lib, Luverne, Highland Home, Calhoun and Barbour County in Region 2. Goshen, Luverne and Highland Home were all playoff teams a year ago.

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The Rebels will open the season at home in a non-region county showdown with the Kinston Bulldogs on Aug. 23 at 7 p.m. This is one of Zion Chapel’s longest standing series with the Rebels holding a 25-22 edge over the Bulldogs all-time. The two sides last met in the regular season in 2021, a 20-12 Bulldog victory. Kinston is coming off a 2-8 season in 2023.

Zion Chapel then hits the road on Aug. 30 for another non-region game against the Ellwood Christian Eagles in Selma. Ellwood Christian is returning to the football field for the first time since 2019. The Eagles competed in the AISA in 2011 before transitioning into the AHSAA in 2012. The school played through 2019 – with two playoff appearances – before shutting down during COVID and not returning until this season. This will be the first time the two schools have ever met.

Zion Chapel begins region play at home against the Goshen Eagles on Sept. 6. Goshen and Zion Chapel met in non-region games the last two years with the Eagles winning both of those matchups 35-7 and 46-21. In fact, Goshen holds a 26-6 record over the Rebels with 10 straight wins in the series dating back to 2012.

Zion Chapel hits the road on Sept. 13 for a region game with the Highland Home Flying Squadron. This will be the first time Zion Chapel has faced Highland Home in football since 2019, a forfeit victory for the Rebels. Highland Home leads the series between the two teams all-time 12-8.

On Sept. 19, Zion Chapel hosts the Luverne Tigers for a region game. The last time these two sides met was also in 2019, a 60-0 Luverne win. Luverne holds an 8-0 edge all-time against Zion Chapel.

After a bye week, the Rebels return to the field on Oct. 4 for a region game at the Pike Liberal Arts Patriots. While this is the first time the two sides will play in a region game, they met for the first time last season. Zion Chapel won that game via forfeit after Pike Lib originally won 16-14.

Next up, Zion Chapel hosts the Baker (Fla.) Gators on Oct. 11 in a non-region game. While this isn’t the first time the two schools have met, it is the first time they’ve played since 1965, a 35-0 Baker win. Baker leads Zion Chapel in the series 3-1 with all four of the previous matchups taking place in the 1960s.

The Rebels return to region play on Oct. 18 for an away game at the Calhoun Tigers.

The two sides last met in 2019, a 47-0 Rebel win. Zion Chapel leads the all-time series with Calhoun 8-2.

Zion Chapel then faces the Barbour County Jaguars at home in another region game on Oct. 25. This will be the first time the two schools have played in the regular season. The only previous game between the two teams was a 22-10 Jaguar win in the playoffs in 2011.

Zion Chapel closes out the regular season on the road on Nov. 1 in a non-region game against the Pleasant Home Eagles. Zion Chapel defeated Pleasant Home 39-6 last season and holds the lead in the series 13-5.