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Rebels win over Sparta

Rebels win over Sparta
By Eason Franklin
The Lowndes Signal
The Lowndes County Rebels (5-1) overcame several long drives by Sparta Academy (2-4) as the defense rose to hold the Warriors to a couple of field goals and a late touchdown to 33-13 in AISA Friday night action.
“We bent but we didn’t break,” said Head Coach Art Sullivan. “We gave up too much on a couple of drives. Our defense held in the end and we were able to come out of here with a win.”
Sullivan’s Rebels opened the scoring after an exchange of punts with an Anderson Casey 10-yard scamper around left end with 7:19 to play in the first quarter. Richard Pate’s point-after kick was good and Lowndes took an early 7-0 lead.
Chance Ward’s 18 yard run on the first play of the drive put the Rebels in business and they never looked back.
After a Sparta punt, Lowndes Academy took over at their own 31 yard line and drove 69 yards on 7 plays. Garrett Headley’s 24-yard burst put them ahead 13-0. Pate’s kick was blocked.
The Warriors took the kickoff and moved the ball 21 yards before fumbling the ball to Lowndes on the third play from scrimmage.
Taking the ball at their own 46 yard line, the Rebels spread-attack then pieced together an 11 play scoring drive.
After an incomplete pass and a two-yard loss on a double-reverse by Headley, Frank McIntosh skillfully led the offense down the field starting with a 7 yard pass to Grant Nall.
During the drive, an illegal procedure penalty by Sparta on fourth down gave the Rebels a first down. They were also aided by an un-sportsman-like conduct call putting them in business at the Wolverine 29 yard line.
McIntosh then hit Ward for 9 yards after a holding penalty. On fourth down, Casey ran for the first down on a gritty 3-yard run. Four plays later, Toby King’s 14 yard run on a reverse with 9:31 left in the half put the Rebel’s up 19-0. Pate’s kick was good giving Lowndes a 20-0 lead.
During the drive, a Zac Green 4 yard touchdown was called back for holding. The Rebel’s were tagged for three holding calls on the night.
After a 28 yard kickoff return by Jerry Bradley, Sparta drove the length of the field in 13 plays but were denied any points as the Rebels defense held them on fourth and two at the six-yard line.
Lowndes turned the ball back over to Sparta with 2:01 left in the half when McIntosh’s pass to King was intercepted at the Rebel 41 yard line.
Five plays later, Tom Andrews kick a 38 yard field goal with nine seconds left in the half giving the Rebels a  20-3 lead at intermission.
Taking the second half kick Sparta drive 53 yards on 10 plays to the five-yard line only to be stopped again by a determined Lowndes defense.
King, Nall and Salter led the goal line charge. Andrews kicked a 22 yard field-goal to move the score to 20-6.
After a Tyler Love 55 yard punt, the Warrior offense took over an their own 17-yard line.
Sparta ran nine plays before fumbling on the their own 23 yard line putting the Rebel’s back in business.
From there it didn’t take the Lowndes offensive attack to shred the defense. On third down Casey bolted down the left side to increase the score 26-6. The two-point attempt was no good.
With 10:00 left in the game Sparta mounted a six minute, 14 play drive to score on a Bradley 4 yard touchdown run. The point after touchdown was good as the Warriors closed the gap to 26-13.
“We gave them momentum at times during the game, ” said Sullivan. “We can’t continue to do that.”
The Rebel’s sealed the game with a Ward 15-yard run in the final minutes to give Lowndes a hard fought 33-13 win.
The team will travel to Abbeville next week.