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Road trip does little to slow down Rebels

Road trip does little to slow down Rebels
Special To The Messenger
CUNNINGHAM — Obion Central head coach Shawn Jackson knew his team at some point would face adversity and would welcome the challenge. It happened Friday night in the Rebels’ first-ever game against Montgomery Central, but only for a while.
The fifth-ranked Rebels erased a second-quarter 10-8 deficit and scored 40 unanswered points to storm by the hosts, 50-30.
OC moved to 6-0 and matched its best-ever start to a season, equaling the mark established 37 seasons ago in 1974.
The plan for Montgomery Central was apparently to keep the Rebels’ fast-paced offense on the sidelines for much as possible.
The Indians — from recovering a game-opening onside kick — to using the run game behind a variety of misdirection plays, limited the Rebels to 38 total offensive plays, 17 in the opening half. Montgomery County, on the other hand, was able to run 71 plays from scrimmage.
However, Obion County showed the poise of a state-ranked team and was up for the challenge to show it is not just an offensive powerhouse.
“We were able to come up with the big plays in the second half to swing the momentum, flip the field and then mash on the gas to run them out of building,” said Jackson. “We have the ability to score quickly, and the defense and kicking game came up with the big plays.”
OC made the trip to Montgomery Central, located south of Clarksville, to face the Indians — a playoff team from last year.
“We chose this game because it would be a trip that would have playoff-type atmosphere,” Jackson said. “Montgomery Central will be a playoff team that will win a few games in the playoffs. So, this is a good win for us.”      
The Rebels played to their pattern to open the game. After Montgomery Central recovered an onside kick to start the game, Marcus Parr recovered a fumble on the second play from scrimmage at the Rebels’ 47 yard-line.
A 40-yard pass from Trey Phipps to Mason McGrew set up the team’s first points. LaDevin Fair scored his first of two TDs and converted the two-point conversion run to give OC an 8-0 advantage less than three minutes into the game.
Montgomery Central kept the ball on its next possession for almost five minutes before having to punt. After holding OC to force the Rebels’ only punt of the night, the Indians put together 1 14-play, 49-yard drive that ate almost seven minutes off the clock. Derrion Reddin’s 2-yard run and Cole Mensing’s PAT pulled Montgomery Central to within 8-7 with 8:15 left in the first half.
 Phipps had just his second pass of the season intercepted on the opening play of the next drive. Reddin had runs of 13 and 12 yards on consecutive plays and the Indians moved to the 10 before their drive stalled. Mensing booted a 25-yard field goal to put the Indians on top 10-8, marking the first time all season OC has trailed.
The Indian lead would be exactly two minutes. Obion responded with a six play, 66-yard drive capped off by Parr taking a short pass from Phipps and breaking across the field into the end zone for a 15-yard scoring play. The two-point conversion gave OC the lead for good with 2:48 left in the half.
What had been any hopes of an upset by the home team in the second half were dispelled as Obion scored 20 points within a span of 3:51 late in the third period. Phipps and Parr hooked up again on a scoring pass, this time from 37 yards out to open the second-half scoring to make the score 22-10.
The Rebels then thwarted a fake punt attempt as Stratton Moore made his first of two big plays in the second half.
Obion Central moved into the end zone as Phipps had a 23-yard keeper and then found receiver Jordan Smith, who went above the defenders in the back of the end zone to grab a 15-yard scoring reception.
Fair’s PAT made the score 30-10 with 18.6 seconds left in the period.
The Rebels then returned the favor of Montgomery Central’s game-opening onside kick.
The Rebels came up with ball at the Indians 43.
It took Obion only two plays to add their third as Parr ran 20 yards on a reverse and then an unsportsmanlike penalty was tacked on to give the Rebels a first and goal from the 10.
Fair ran into the end zone on the final play of the quarter.
The special teams and defense then got into the scoring act for OC. The Rebels forced a three-and-out and Tanner Cary broke through to block the punt, which he scooped up at the five and rushed in for the score.
Mason McGrew’s first point-after kick of the night made the score 43-10 with just over 11 minutes remaining.
OC’s defense followed just two plays later as Moore stripped Brett Hill of the ball after a short reception at the 26 and raced the distance for his first TD.
McGrew’s PAT made the margin 50-10 and sent the game into running clock format.
Montgomery Central was able to add three touchdowns in the final 2:26 of the game to make the margin closer. Kyree Hutcherson had a scoring run of one yard. Indian starting quarterback Sam Hudson ran for 36 yards with 11 seconds left.
The game ended as Tyler Norton recovered a fumble at the Rebels six and ran into the end zone as the final horn sounded.       
Obion Central will return to District 13AA play next week when it plays newcomer South Gibson for the first time.
Montgomery Central (3-3) plays at Harpeth. Published in The Messenger 9.26.11

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