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Rebs respectable at tough Henry Co.

Rebs respectable at tough Henry Co.
Rebs respectable at tough Henry Co.

OC’s LaDevin Fair finds open ground.
In lining up his team’s only preseason scrimmage, Shawn Jackson wanted to see how his Obion Central troops stacked up against one of West Tennessee’s better programs the past few years.
The Rebel coach wasn’t disappointed with the results.
OC turned in a respectable showing against Henry County Thursday, though eventually coming out on the short end of a 25-7 score against a Patriot program that made three straight semifinal appearances in Class 4A from 2006-08 before moving to 5A last season.
The Rebels scored one touchdown and threatened two other times, once reaching the three yard-line before turning the ball over on downs in the scrimmage that lasted nearly two hours.
They gave up a pair of TDs on long runs when both teams began mixing in second-teamers in the latter half of the session.
Jackson paid no attention to the scoring particulars in his assessment of how his squad fared against the perennially-tough Pats, who are replacing more than 30 graduated seniors from last year’s team and are under a new coaching regime with ex-South Fulton star James Counce having returned to his coaching roots.
“I want us to play the best people we can so we can see where we stack up and how much more work we need to do,” Jackson said of his choice of the Patriots to scrimmage against. “Late in the spring when I was trying to find us somebody to work with, I really wanted to scrimmage them because they and Milan have really been the top dogs in our area the past several years. I didn’t want to play just anybody.
“We were ready to go, and I thought we got some good work in. We got caught there a couple of times with a lot of twos (reserves) in when they had their ones in and gave up touchdowns. Our younger kids have to get better. All in all, though, I was pleased with some things I saw.”
Running back LeDevin Fair — a Fulton County transfer — had the best day of any Rebel with several nice runs, including a 3-yarder for OC’s only touchdown.
Junior quarterback Trey Phipps had a handful of good moments, connecting with Shawn Weaks several times, once on a fourth-down play that went for 25 yards and set up Fair’s TD. Phipps also hit Nathan Ward with a couple of passes on the series on which OC was eventually stopped inside the Henry County 5.
The Patriots scored twice at the end of sustained marches and then broke off two long runs for their other two touchdowns.
“Defensively, we got out-flanked a couple of times and gave up the big play, but we did a good job against the run a good part of the scrimmage,” Jackson added. “We were missing some folks up front on offense that made us have to shuffle some things around, and that was an issue at times.
“We still have several things to correct and get better at before we’re ready to open the season.”
The Rebels were missing a handful of regulars with injuries, including top receiver Mason McGrew (high ankle sprain) and starting guard Spenser Maloney (shoulder). Maloney is expected to return to practice next week, while McGrew’s status is uncertain.
Central’s final preseason scrimmage work will come vs. Tipton-Rosemark Academy in the Covington Jamboree Friday, Aug. 13.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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