The Rebels of Fannin County High School kicked off week two against the Union County Panthers in style. The Rebels rolled to its first victory of the year 43-35, despite the Panthers out gaining the Rebels, 493-419 in yardage.
Fannin got off to an explosive start. It was only a mere three plays in the game when senior QB, Trevor Stone, hooked up with senior WR, Noah O’Neal, for a huge 78 yard TD pass.
The quick score brought life and faith into the Rebels bench. Union tried to silence Fannin with touchdown drive that ended with the Panther QB scoring from four yards out.
After a missed PAT the Rebels still possessed the lead 7-6. The Rebels started its next drive on its own 20 after a touch back. Stone set back in the shotgun to go back to the passing game.
Completing a pass to O’Neal, The Rebels moved up to the 41. This set up a 59 yard TD toss to Peyton Satterfield. After a Good PAT from Freshman Kevin Chamaty, Fannin’s lead increased to 14-6.
The Panthers tried to start a drive to get some momentum back but senior, Jordan Gray, had other plans. Gray came in with a huge tackle that caused a fumble deep in Panther territory.
Fannin took the short field, but failed to follow through, turning the ball over on downs a mere four plays later.
The Rebels stopped Union from driving and forced a punt about mid-field. During the punt a controversial plenty was called against the Rebels.
The officials gave to ball back to Union. Upset from the call, the Rebels Defense stuffed the Panthers causing a turn over on downs.
A few drives later the Panthers would find the end zone again after a two yard TD run, and tied the game at 14, with a successful two point conversion.
The teams went into the locker rooms with the tied score. One could see the emotion and excitement when the Rebels hit the field. Fannin was hungry for a win; however the Panthers pounced on the Rebels defense, scoring a TD on the first drive of the second half, to take at 21-14 lead.
The Rebels, on the strength of Stone’s arm, threw the ball all the way down the field, on the ensuing drive. Gray ended the drive with a 36 yard touchdown reception.
The Rebels, however, would miss the extra point leaving the score 20-21 Union. On the next drive a Panthers’ pass was picked off by Hunter Rice. This was a huge swing in momentum on the field.
Stone found O’Neal 29 yards down the field when Fannin took the ball. This set up a 9 yard touchdown trot for Stone. Fannin did not convert the 2 point conversion leaving the score 26-21.
After a few three and outs from both teams, the Panthers would get the ball and move down the field. A 20 yard touchdown pass came after two Fannin missed tackles. Union would try for 2 and failed on a Peyton Satterfield pick. This would leave the Panthers on top by one, 27-26.
All of the excitement would make for a tense start to the fourth quarter. Stone hooked up with O’Neal for three straight big completions to open up the final quarter.
The Panthers’ defense got it together stopping the Rebels on the 15. This would be close enough for Chamaty. With the short field goal, Fannin would go up by 2, 29-27.
O’Neal put the final knife in the Panthers. Union was driving, when he picked up an interception on the 15, and ran it all the way back for an 85 yard pick six, making the score 35-27.
Satterfield also added another 7 points to the Rebels score to make it, 43-27. Fannin ended the game with a 43-35 win, after a late Union score.
Stone finished with, 335 yards passing on 13 of 24 attempts with three TD's and zero interceptions. O'Neal finished with seven receptions for 177 yards and a TD, plus the crucial 85 yard pick six.
The emotion field game proved to be a good one for the Rebels. The Fannin faithful hope this momentum follows them as they head to White County on Friday to face a tough region opponent.