Scott Central falls short of defending 2A championship

By JAMES PHILLIPS PHOTO BY BILLY FREEMAN,

The Scott Central Rebels and head coach Devin Cooper knew last Friday’s game against the Taylorsville Tartars would be the ultimate test as a team. The Rebels traveled to Smith County to take on THS in the Class 2A South State Championship and gave a valiant effort but fell short in the end losing 14-6 in a very close game.

Cooper said his team played their tails off, but the problem was that they lost the battle at the line of scrimmage. “The Taylorsville defense does not get enough credit for what they do. They played a great game against us and really controlled the line of scrimmage the entire game.”

Coming into the game Cooper knew his team had to play their best football and eliminate mistakes. “You can’t make mistakes against a team as talented as Taylorsville and we just made one or two too many mistakes,” he said. “In the end we made some mistakes and they were able to capitalize on a few of those to take the win.”

The Rebels defense did a masterful job and played their hearts out. Taylorsville has one of the top offenses in the state led by standout quarterback and likely future Division I football signee Tyler Keys. This game was a field position battle throughout and the Tartars spent three-and-a-half quarters on the Rebels’ side of the field, but the stubborn Scott Central defenders only gave up 14 points.

The one time the Rebels’ offense was able to break midfield they were able to score their lone touchdown on the night. Jalen Wells took the ball over the top for a score from two yards out to bring the score to 14-6 in the fourth quarter.

That would be as close as the Rebels would get in this hard fought game.

“We were playing our best football of the season coming into this game. We were a completely different team from the first game of the season, but at this time of year you have to play your best football to keep advancing and Taylorsville is a great team and played very good against us. They will be tough to beat,” Cooper said.

The Rebels were not able to control the game on offense like they had the previous five weeks. This game came down to a few key plays and the Tartars made more than the Rebels and earned the right to play for the 2A state championship this Saturday.

The Rebels fell short of the goal to win another championship, but Cooper said his team really grew up through this season. “Watching these guys grow and come together as a team has been amazing. It took our team a few weeks to find our identity, and when we did we played some really good football.”

The Rebels will lose 11 seniors this season and this is a group of seniors that learned how to play winning football and win championships. This group of seniors came from going 6-6 in their freshman season to going 38-6 over their last three seasons.

With Coach Cooper at the helm, and a lot of talent returning next season, the Rebels look to be a football force in Class 2A for years to come.

“Some of our younger guys got a lot of experience and know what its going to take to beat  teams like Taylorsville,” Cooper said. “I feel really good about these guys and this team moving forward. I can’t thank the seniors enough for the leadership and effort they gave, this was a great group of guys that we will miss.”

Scott Central ends the year as 2A South State runner-up with a record of 11-3.

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