Special to the Times
The Berrien County Rebels fell to the Thomasville Bulldogs 35-13 Friday night in a game that looked very promising for the Rebels through the first half. The Rebels scored a touchdown on their opening drive to put them up 6-0 after the extra point was blocked. This drive included a 42 yard pass to receiver Kyle Flowers and a 23 yard touchdown run by Quinton Tisby.
The Rebels defense looked hot in the first half by not allowing the Bulldogs to get a first down on their first couple drives. Louis Picolo recovered a punt that bounced off the shoulder of an unsuspecting Bulldog player. This set up a quick score by the Rebels on a twenty eight yard screen pass to running back Taylor Griner.
This would be the last time the Rebels put points on the board in this game however as the Bulldogs went on to score 35 unanswered points. It started with the drive following the Rebels touchdown where Mario Cherry gashed the Rebels for big run after big run. This set up a two yard touchdown run for Cherry.
The Bulldogs went for a surprise onside kick following their touchdown and caught the Rebels napping as they recovered it. Cherry once again carried them down the field beating the Rebels to the sideline time after time. This set up Cherry for his second touchdown of the night on a seven yard carry. This score would put the Bulldogs up 14-13 at the end of the half.
The Bulldogs continued to build their momentum once the second half started with a kickoff return to the fifty. Three big runs later, including a 24 yard touchdown run, Cherry made his way into the endzone for his third score of the night to make the score 21-13 with less than ten minutes left in the third.
The Rebels first drive of the second half set their tone for the rest of the game as they went three and out. They allowed Dalton Ingram to get sacked on a third and eight. The entire second half the Rebels offensive line didn’t allow Dalton time to look down field. This is evident in the fact that he only completed two of seven attempts. Both completed passes coming in the first quarter.
The play of the game came after the Rebels were forced to punt on their first drive of the second half. With the ball on the Bulldogs own thirty five; Payton Dixon heaved a shot deep down field. The ball hit his receiver in stride and without missing a beat it was caught and ran in the remaining 16 yards into the end zone. This almost put the nail in the coffin making it twenty eight to thirteen with just under three minutes in the third.
The Bulldogs would score again on a 16 yard touchdown pass to Helon Hammonds to make the final score 35-13. The Rebels hopes of scoring one more time before the game ended were crushed when Ethan Hawkins was stripped and recovered by the Bulldogs with just over a minute left in the game.