No. 3 Rebels are on to Round 3 after dominating 34-6 road winBy JAMES PHILLIPS,
The defending 2A state champion Scott Central Rebels took to the road and sent a message they have no plans of giving up their title as defending champ without a fight.
The Rebels were laser focused all week in practice after their overtime win against a pesky Bay Springs team the week before, and that focus carried over to the football field last Friday night where the defending champs dominated East Marion in all three phases of the game.
Scott Central scored on their first three offensive possessions to put East Marion in an early 21-0 hole. The fast start by the visiting Rebels kept the home crowd mostly silent and out of the game while SC scored 34 unanswered points in a dominating 34-6 victory in round two of the 2A playoffs.
Head coach Devin Cooper said it is very important to get off to a good start during this time of the year. “I think it’s crucial to get off to a good start, especially on the road during the playoffs,” he said. “That requires our players to come in focused and ready to play from the start. Every road atmosphere is different, and when you get off to the kind of start we had Friday night you have the chance to take control and play your game.”
After receiving the opening kickoff, the Rebel offense started feeding Jabrelynn Vivians the football and he did not disappoint. Vivians carried the ball, and the offense, right down the field wasting very little time.
The Rebels capped off the drive when Jalen Wells took the ball in for a touchdown from 11 yards out to give SC an early 7-0 lead.
“We fed the ball to Vivians early on the first drive and he really had some good runs,” Cooper said. “We needed to be able to run the football and we wanted to get the ball to all our backs throughout the game. We established the run on that first drive and went on to rush 345 yards on 45 carries using all our running backs.”
After the Rebel defense held East Marion in place, the Rebel offense was back at it again. On the second drive the Rebels continued to move the ball with ease on the ground and moved right down the field. Vivians finished off the scoring drive when he took the ball in for the score to give the Rebels the 14-0 lead late in the first quarter.
In the second quarter it was more of the same from both teams. The Rebels continued to move the ball on the ground and keep the East Marion offense from putting any good drives together.
“We could tell that East Marion started getting frustrated in the second quarter because of our success moving the ball on the ground. We continued to play our game and our guys really played tough and never let up on the pressure we put on them,” Cooper said.
When the Rebels got the ball in the second quarter, they again quickly moved the ball deep into East Marion territory to the 1-yard line. Elijah Robinson took the hand off, started right before cutting back to his left, and found his way in for the third score of the game, giving the visitors a 21-0 lead, which would hold until halftime.
East Marion received the second half kickoff, and was able to move the ball for the first time in the game. The Rebel defense stiffened after giving up some yards between the 20’s and forced the Eagles to punt once again.
After converting a 4-and-19 to start the fourth quarter the Rebels were in scoring position again, and they would not squander the opportunity. On first down from the EM-6 yardline, Elijah Robinson’s number was again called and again he produced. He scored on the 6-yard run for his second touchdown of the night to extend the SC lead to 28-0 with 11:22 left in the game.
The Rebels would add one last score on a 23-yard run by Jackie Donald that stretched the lead to 34-0.
On the night the Rebels rushing attack gained 345 yards using 10 different ball carries, with only one of them having double digits in carries in the game. “We really were able to spread the ball around. It says a lot when you have 10 different guys carry the football in one game. Our guys really did a good job and we were able to control the game.” Cooper said.
The Rebels move on to the third round of the 2A state playoffs where they will have to hit the road again to take on one of the hottest teams in 2A football in the Enterprise Bulldogs. Cooper said this will be a very tough test for his team.
“We ended up having to go to their place because the tie-breaker was which team was in the lowest numbered region,” Cooper explained. “They are in 5 and we are 6, so we will go to their place for a tough matchup. But that’s why we played those tough non-conference road games earlier in the season, we were preparing for what we have in front of us this week.”
The Enterprise Bulldogs come into this week’s game with a record of 11-1 after ousting the Lake Hornets in round one, and surviving to get a 6-0 win last week to move on. Coach Cooper and the Rebels know they will need to get off to another good start to put themselves in position to move on. The winner of the Enterprise and Scott Central will face the winner of Philadelphia and Taylorsville in the Class 2A South State Championship game on November 22.