Following successful preseason scrimmage, Rebels prepare for Indians

Joe Morgan | Special to the TimesBerrien running back Ken Bennett dives for yardage during the second quarter of a game against Wilcox County last season.

NASHVILLE, Ga. –– The Berrien Rebels enjoyed a successful preseason scrimmage last week and now have a week to prepare for their season opener against the Irwin County Indians on Aug. 23.

Four different Rebels players scored touchdowns in last Friday's 27-12 win over Turner County. The defense notched a fumble return for a score. The team showed positive signs after a little more than a week in full pads.

“We had a pretty good game offensively. We gave up some yards on the ground, defensively. We've got to work on that side of the ball to keep progressing on that side of the ball,” said Berrien coach Tim Alligood. “Offensively, for sure, I've been real pleased the last couple of weeks the way we've been progressing.”

Gerrick Johnson led the Rebels in rushing and scored a touchdown. Ja'marquis Johnson and Ken Bennett also added offensive touchdowns. Jaden Wheeler returned a fumble 20 yards to account for Berrien's other score.

With its only scrimmage behind them, the Rebels now have an extra week to prepare for their season opener against Class A Irwin County.

“There's a lot of mistakes that happened in that scrimmage game and it gives you an extra week there to take your time to correct your mistakes,” Alligood said.

An extra week won't hurt as Berrien prepares for one of the most consistently great Class A football programs in south Georgia. The Indians lost in the state finals last year to Clinch County but finished with a 13-1 record. It included a 41-7 thrashing of Berrien to open the season. The Indians already have the Rebels' attention.

“Coach (Buddy) Nobles has got those guys playing at a level. They're the perfect definition of what a football program is. There's a lot of people that have got good football teams but when you have football programs, they graduate kids and then they just plug people in and they keep rolling. That's kind of how it's been over there.”

Berrien opens with three straight home games against Irwin County, Atkinson County (Aug. 30) and Bacon County (Sept. 6) before its first road trip to Wilcox County on Sept. 13.

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