Rebels end season with win over Morgan

Published 4:56 pm Friday, October 26, 2012

Morgan’s Samir Freij (27) tries to wrap up Lowndes Academy quarterback Cody Harrell during Thursday’s game at home.

By Tim Reeves and Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Academy Rebels closed out the 2012 football season on a winning note by defeating rival non-regional opponent Morgan Academy 18-6 on the road in Selma Thursday night.

The win was the second straight for the Rebels who ended up with a 5-5 overall record and a 2-4 regional record for first year head football coach Matt Marshall. The Rebels also beat East Memorial in a scrimmage game.

Email newsletter signup

“I thought the kids played real hard,” Marshall said. “We were playing for pride. Lowndes hadn’t beat Morgan in probably a decade.”

Marshall said his team played well defensively and “offensively we found some things that worked, and they really bought in for the week and finished the season with on positive note.”

He said the team put together its first winning streak of the year and won two in a row.

“I was proud of the kids the way they stuck it out and it’s going to definitely roll into the other sports this year and maybe into football next year,” Marshall said.

He said the “light bulb” finally went off for some of his younger kids and the last two or three games the seniors “stepped up and became leaders for us.”

Marshall said going into the off-season his kids have seen the things they need to do to be successful.

“I think they left with a good attitude and knowing that if we work hard in the off season then next year we can do just about anything we want to do,” he said.

Thursday night, the two rivals played to a tough draw in the first half, but it was the Rebels of Lowndes Academy who came out of the locker room ready to play.

During the third quarter, the Rebels scored three touchdowns, taking advantage of two Morgan turnovers.

Lowndes first score of the game came with 10:24 left in the third quarter when quarterback Cody Harrell found Garrett Headley on a wide receiver screen to the left side. Headley broke one tackle and then outraced the Morgan defense for the opening score. The extra point attempt failed, leaving the score 6-0.

After recovering a fumble at the Morgan 25-yard line just three plays later, the Rebels marched down the field for a touchdown with 6:49 left to go in the quarter. This time, Harrell broke through would-be tacklers en route to a 9-yard touchdown run. Again, the extra point attempt failed, giving Lowndes a 12-0 lead.

Lowndes would round out their scoring, when they again took possession after a Morgan fumble, and went 46-yards on 10 plays for a touchdown. Toby King rounded out the drive, when he raced in from four yards out with 47 seconds left in the third.

The 2-point attempt failed, leaving the score at 18-0.

Morgan would finally get on the board on the very last play of the game, when running back Trevor Bates tip toed down the right sideline for a 30-yard touchdown run as time expired.

Morgan head football coach Bob Taylor didn’t want the 2012 season to be a rebuilding year. Some thought it would be based on the team’s youth. But for Taylor, who saw eighth graders and freshmen see time as starters and key role players this season, a rebuilding season is exactly what he got.

The loss to Lowndes Academy marked Morgan’s seventh straight loss to end the season and gave them an overall record of 3-7.

“Tomorrow we’re going to take up equipment, vote on awards and then Monday, we’re going to start hitting the weight room,” Taylor said. “We have to be faster, stronger and we’re going to start right away.”

“We were just not able to get into the right plays, get going on offense,” Taylor said. “I’ll give Lowndes all the credit. They played extremely well and came out in the second half and played far better then we did.”

Overall, Lowndes had 278 yards in total offense, with 200 coming on the ground. Morgan had 243 yards of total offense with 170 on the ground.

Morgan’s Bates and Jamie Bearden led all rushers, racking up 75 yards each.

For the Rebels, Harrell was eight of 11 passing for 82 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed 9 times for 42 yards and a touchdown.

King had 73 yards rushing on 21 carries and one touchdown.

Headley had four catches for 64 yards and one touchdown.

John Blackmon had nine tackles one fumble recovery. Owen Nall and Oneal Jones had fumble recoveries as well.