On Friday night the Fannin County Rebels celebrated their Seniors for their final home game.
On the opening drive the Rebels defense was looking sharp. On a third and long the Union quarterback, Cole Wright, threw the ball deep downfield and a big hit by Mason Rhodes, the Fannin Linebacker, broke up the big gain. On the following play the Panthers punter mishandled the snap but was able to get the kick off before it was tipped, and also getting hit on the play. The Rebels were going to get the ball around the 40 until a flag for roughing the kicker went flying. I have never in my life seen a call that bad, and that call alone set the tone for the game.
The Panthers were able to take advantage of their second chance and march the ball down the field, scoring the games first touchdown. The Rebels, and QB Brad Davis were glad to see a familiar face back on the sideline as Cooper Earls returned from injury. Davis wasted no time on the opening drive, finding his favorite receiver for a touchdown. The Rebels attempted a two-point conversion but were unsuccessful in the attempt. The Panthers would respond with another touchdown after the Rebels score, now leading 14-6. The Rebels were moving the ball rather well on the following drive before stalling and having to punt the ball back to the Panthers. This time driving the field and forcing the ball in on a 3rd and goal at the 1-yard line. After the first the Panthers lead the Rebels 21-6.
During their first drive of the second half the Rebels advanced the ball onto the Union side of the field before a Union defender jumped the route and intercepted the ball, returning it 30 yards before being brought down. Just a few plays later the Union QB, broke free and scored on a 45 yard touchdown run. Davis continued to struggle through the air in the 2nd Quarter as the defense would intercept two more passes before the half ended. In the 2nd quarter the Panthers scored 21 points off turnovers. At halftime Union led 49-9.
The Rebels would drive the length of the field but would not be able to punch in the ball, as the drive would stall inside the 5 yard line. As the Panthers took over, with the shadow of the goalpost on their uniforms, they would turn to the ground game. On 3rd and about 8, the Union running back Bo Lynch busted through the line and headed for the goal line. Only to be called back because of an illegal block in the back. The Panthers would later go on to score on that drive. After allowing another score the Rebels tried to mount an incredible comeback, now being down 56-9. A score at which you would expect absolutely nothing to happen. Fannin would go on an impressive driving ending with a 30 rushing score by Cooper Earls. On the ensuing kickoff the Rebels would go with an onside kick by Senior kicker Brandon Carranza. I have never seen someone this talented when it comes to an onside kick. When thats what they decide to do, you can almost bet that the Rebels will recover, and in most cases Carranza recovers his own kicks.
With great field position the Rebels would only need to go 48 yards to score. They would get down to the goal-line and use a QB sneak to score again. On the next kickoff the Rebels would once again turn to Carranza for an onside kick. The Rebels would go on to recover this one also. Senior, Jacob Reese would also have the biggest hit of the game on the onside. Clearing the way for a Rebels recovery. Followed by another Rebels touchdown. The Rebels would not attempt for three-in-a-row for the onside kick. Instead they would kick it over the heads of the Union players. Union would recover. A few plays later the Union QB would once again break down the field for yet another big touchdown run, putting any talks of a comeback to rest. On their final possession the Rebels would put even more points on the board as Brad Davis would once again find Cooper Earls down the sideline for the games final touchdown. The final of this one, Union 63 and Fannin 39.
The Rebels have struggled with stopping the run all year, especially so in the past two weeks. Next week the Rebels head to East Hall to take on a very fast team. Both teams will be fighting for pride next week as both teams are 0-5 in the Region.