Rebels season comes to an end with loss to WinonaBy ALLEN ARDREY AND BILLY FREEMAN,
After an almost undefeated season, the Scott Central Rebels were undone in the third round of the 2017 MSHAA Football Championships playoffs by the Winona Tigers 22-15 last Friday. The Tigers were ranked 6th in the 2A division while the Rebels were ranked 4th in the 2A division, which makes this loss for the Rebels an upset by the underdog Tigers. Both teams lost early on in the first round of last year’s playoffs, so excitement surrounded the match between these two aspiring teams. The Tigers go on to face last year’s champions, the Calhoun City Wildcats.
The Rebels had a hard time gaining traction the whole night against the Tigers. Coach Jim Nowell said, “They are a good team. We got stopped on the one yard line before halftime and didn’t score.” Senior and Rebel quarterback TJ Wash attempted 23 passes, eight of which were completed for a total of 78 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns. On 30 carries, the Rebels rushed for 86 total yards for a combined offensive total of 164 yards, which is an uncommonly low number for Scott Central.
The entire first half of the game was scoreless for the Tigers and the Rebels. Coach Nowell said, “We threw three interceptions which hurt us and just couldn’t get anything going on offense.” With neither team scoring any points in the first half, the score at halftime was Scott Central 0, Winona 0.
Scott Central came out running smoking hot in the third quarter with a four-yard rushing touchdown by Wash. Since the Tigers were still unable to score in the third quarter, the score at the end of the third quarter was Scott Central 7, Winona 0.
With some adjustments of their own, the Tigers scored their first touchdown in the fourth and final quarter. Winona’s initial touchdown was a one-yard rushing touchdown and their second was a 15-yard touchdown pass. The Rebel’s Wash scored his second rushing touchdown with a 4-yard carry. With 16 seconds left on the clock, the Tigers threw a 46-yard “Hail Mary” touchdown pass that earned the victory for Winona. The final score of the game was Scott Central 15, and Winona 22.
When asked the impact the loss of this year’s Rebel seniors will have on next season’s roster, Coach Nowell said, “Well, we lose a very good quarterback, running-back, center, two linebackers, a couple wide-receivers, and a defensive-back. We need to have a good spring practice and develop guys quickly.”
Although the Rebels are reeling from the upsetting third-round loss, Coach Nowell says they have plans to “hit the weight room as soon as Thanksgiving break is over and the journey begins again.”