It was one of those nights where nothing could get going, when the Rebels of Fannin Middle School traveled to Jasper Middle School to take on the Pickens Dragons. The Rebels could muster no offense, as Fannin fell 24-0.
Fannin kicked the ball to Pickens to start the game. After causing a three-and-out, the Rebels was set to receive the first punt of the evening. Heavy pressure and a fumbled snap gave the Rebels the ball with great field position.
Chandler Smith’s first pass was incomplete, and Cody Jacobs was dropped for a loss on the next play. On third and 12 an interception ended the Rebels’ offensive drive.
Good defense by the Rebels ended the Pickens drive in a hurry. With the ball back in the offense’s hands, the Rebels looked to get something going.
Three straight plays resulted in a loss of yardage, but a personal foul on the Dragons erased the upcoming fourth down. The Rebels was unable to take advantage of this as the Dragon defense halted the drive.
The two teams traded possessions with nothing big happening for either team. A Smith pass was intercepted by the Dragons and ran all the way back inside the red zone, but luckily for the Rebels it was called back due to a penalty.
It was still a crucial turnover though, so the Rebel defense needed to step up big. Bradley Flowers made a great tackle, but Pickens was able to complete a big 35 yard pass to set itself up for a scoring opportunity.
Jacobs and Jacob Hood combined for a huge sack that ended the hopes of Dragons fans as Pickens was forced to punt.
After another unsuccessful drive by the Rebels, the Dragons received the ball and found the end zone for the first score of the game. With :54 left in the half, the Dragons took an 8-0 lead. The ensuing kickoff only traveled one yard which gave Fannin the ball at the Dragon 41 yard line.
A long pass was completed to Jacobs as time expired, but it came up short of the end zone. Very solid defense by the Rebels kept this game close in the first half.
The Rebels received the ball to start the second half and Fannin came out looking like a different team. Long runs by Jacobs and Hunter Gray had the Rebels inside the Pickens 30 yard line, and the offense looked poised to punch one in.
After a negative run and a delay of game penalty, the Rebels found themselves in a third and long situation. Smith’s pass was intercepted, and the hopeful drive came to an abrupt halt.
The Rebels breathed a sigh of relief on the very next play as the Pickens running back took one 69 yards for score, but it was called back due to a holding call. The Rebels defense tightened up after that and forced a punt.
Running out of time, the Rebels’ coaches started trying to get the ball in the hands of their playmaker on nearly every play. The Dragons were able to key in on this and stop the drives before they ever got started.
With 5:15 to go in the game, Pickens was able to find a hole in the Rebel defense and score from 39 yards out. Just moments later, a Smith pass was intercepted for a touchdown and the Fannin found itself down 24-0.
The Fannin offense was unable to put anything together on its final drive, and Pickens ran the clock out to end the game. The Rebels’ defense played well for most of the game, only making two real mistakes which led to the scores. It was a hard fought game, and this Rebels team will only continue to improve.