Rebel defense could have new look

Rebel defense could have new look
Rebel defense could have new look

Obion Central’s Devin Palmer gets a hand up against Sikeston.
For more than one reason, there’ll likely be a handful of new faces on the field when Obion Central lines up against Crockett County Friday night.
Unacceptable defensive results and injuries have prompted Rebel head coach Shawn Jackson to say he’s looking at as many as five new defensive starters in the aftermath of OC giving up 563 yards in a 42-34 loss to Sikeston (Mo.) this past Friday night.
“We’re going to look at some different people and give them a chance,” the Central skipper said of his possibly-altered unit. “They (Sikeston) were good, and they ‘Pearl Harbored’ us. They hit us with some things that we didn’t expect and weren’t prepared for because we didn’t have any film of them.
“We just froze up, at times. It was like we didn’t know what to do.”
Sikeston rushed for more than 400 yards with two backs eclipsing the 100-yard mark and two more near that total.
Sloppy tackling and poor angles taken by the Rebel defenders contributed greatly to their downfall.
However, not all of OC’s possible starting lineup changes are results-related.
Tackle Kevin Cumana and nose guard Skylar Hopkins are both nursing shoulder injuries suffered in last week’s game, while linebacker Jake Garrigan is also hobbled, according to Jackson. All are questionable for Friday’s game against third-ranked Crockett County that will serve as both Central’s District 13AA opener and homecoming.
The Rebel coach claimed that receiver Shawn Weaks, who caught six passes vs. Sikeston — one for a touchdown — and completed another on a gadget play, has a collarbone issue.
TORNADO QB HEALING — The open date couldn’t have come at a better time for Union City.
Tornado quarterback Chase Bowling spent two days in a local hospital last week with a staph infection in his right elbow.
The son of UC head coach Darren Bowling and the unofficial captain of the Twisters’ midline/veer offense contracted the virus in the weekend following Union City’s 42-28 victory over Trigg County.
The younger Bowling had experienced a nagging scab wound since fall camp that was reportedly aggravated during practice and in his team’s first game.
Bowling did not practice last week. Sophomore backup Travis Rutland got valuable reps in practice in his absence, though Bowling was back under center and took part in all activities on Monday.
“He’s fine, and he’ll play (Friday at Trenton),” the elder Bowling said of his battle-tested signal-caller. “Actually, we probably could’ve gotten him ready to play by Friday last week if we had to. The bye week meant we didn’t have to push it, though.
“If something were to happen, I have all the confidence in the world in (Travis) Rutland. He really got a lot better as last week went on.”
SF AFTERMATH — South Fulton is hoping that recent history won’t repeat itself this week after a 25-8 season-opening triumph over West Carroll.
“We were very inconsistent last year after a win,” Red Devil mentor Kelly Spivey said. “It’s very important for us to not fall into that trap again this year.
“We’ve started the season off right and we need to win every game we can, especially the ones we have a chance in.”
In order to prevail at home against District 14A foe Greenfield this Friday, the Red Devils, who totaled 95 penalty yards on nine flags against WC, must minimize their penalties and the timing of such.
SF gave the War Eagles a trio of second chances with whistles — a roughing the punter and a face mask call — on crucial third and fourth downs that resulted in the Carroll Countians getting either a first down or one more chance at paydirt.
“You never want to give any team extra chances to score,” Spivey said. “Our decision making wasn’t very good on Friday, but most of these mistakes were due to our kids going all out.
“I’d rather have to reel a player in and tell them to back off than to have to try to work to show aggression.”

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