Fannin County High School’s Rebels football team kicked off the season with its annual rivalry game against the Bobcats of Gilmer High School. The “Cats” scratched the Rebels from the scoreboard, winning 22-0, with a plethora of big plays.
The Bobcats began the night with a bit of “trickeration,” going for a short onside/squib kick, that Gilmer seemed to recover; however Fannin was found to be in possession of the ball after a fair catch interference call went in the Rebels favor.
Fannin’s first offensive possession lasted a mere three, due to a Fannin fumble that Gilmer recovered. Despite a plethora of penalties, a problem for both teams throughout the night, Gilmer eventually found the end zone, scoring when fullback, Tyler Bertolini scored on a one yard touchdown run. The extra point would be good making the score 7-0.
On the ensuing drive, Fannin faced a three and out, due to penalties. Disaster struck on the punt, as Gilmer senior, Austin Davis, blocked the punt, allowing the “Cats” to take over possession on the Fannin 31 yard line.
The Bobcats would take advantage of the short field scoring a few plays later on a Russell Cochran two yard TD run. The “Cats” clicked on a two point conversion, with Austin Davis making a catch in the end zone that put the “Cats” up 15-0.
The Rebels’ next drive, ended with a punt right back to the Bobcats; however, the Rebels’ defense rose to the occasion holding Gilmer’s offense to its first three and out. The momentum did not stay with the Rebels long, as a muffed punt return gave Gilmer yet another possession starting in Fannin territory.
Senior linebacker Payton Satterfield would make a huge statement tackle on third goal, that closed the “Cats’” off from field goal range, and kept the score 15-0.
With time winding down on the first half, the Rebels, began to move the ball against the Gilmer defense; however, an interception deep in Gilmer territory led to a 15-0 halftime score.
The start of the second half would be the final straw for Fannin, as Gilmer running back, Johnie Flakes, returned the kick-off 80 yards for a touchdown that put the “Cats” up 22-0, after a successful extra point.
Other than the return the second half would prove to be a stalemate between the two teams, as both team’s defenses frustrated the opposing offenses throughout the rest of the game.
The Rebels will look to bounce back against the northern neighbors of Union, at home on Friday September 6th, with game time starting at 7:30pm.