Rebels roll through Memphis

Rebels roll through Memphis
Rebels roll through Memphis | Rebels roll through Memphis
By KEVIN WEAKS
Messenger Sports
MEMPHIS — Obion Central made a playoff statement and then put an exclamation point on it.
The Rebels stormed into the second round of the TSSAA Class 4A State Playoffs by whipping Memphis Fairley 46-22 Friday night at Crump Stadium.
Central, with its second playoff win in 12 games, is now 9-2 on the season and will travel to Covington for the second round this weekend.
For the Rebels, advancing was more than a case of simply surviving. OC moved on as the result of near flawless execution.
Central was the better running team, its offensive line and defensive play making sure of that.
LaDevin Fair put up 232 yards on 23 carries to lead the Rebels’ offense, which finished with 21 first downs and 410 total yards.
“LaDevin’s the best back that I’ve ever coached, and he showed it tonight,” OC head coach Shawn Jackson said. “We were able to run it with Marcus (Parr) and Mason McGrew, and Trey (Phipps) got some key first downs on sneaks. We were able to set the tempo with that, and then if we needed to throw it, we were able to do that. If they put five in there, we were going to run it, if they put six in there, we were going to run it or throw it, and those are the looks we got.”
Parr was effective on just four carries, scoring three touchdowns and finishing with 39 yards. Phipps, meanwhile, scored on a short sneak while also throwing for 142 yards and a score by completing 11-of-20 passes. He was hurt somewhat by drops and one pass that was batted then intercepted.
Jackson also pointed out some personnel moves up front that aided in the ground game.
“Putting Bubba Quinton at left tackle was a savior for us,” the coach said. “And, we put Skylar Hopkins at guard a lot of times when we were in short yardage, and he really put us over the top. He did a great job of blocking. And then we threw some great play-action passes out of some looks we haven’t shown before. Trey did a great job with that. We did outstanding up front.”
Meanwhile, the defense clamped down on Fairley in the decisive first half by slowing down heralded running back Marcus Holliday II. While Holliday finished with 156 yards and a touchdown on 29 carries, most of his yards were all but insignificant as he was almost completely shut down as OC was building up a 26-0 halftime lead.
Holliday had six carries stopped in the backfield, and his only pass reception also went backward.
“I came in Sunday and said we were changing what we’re doing,” Jackson said. “I hadn’t been around and been able to be an extra eye on that. Coach Dowland and I talked about it, and he made great adjustments as far as personnel. We moved people around and put the people on the field who make plays. We went bigger up front. Zack Simpson came in and played up to his potential tonight. You know, he’s 6-5 and 280 pounds as a sophomore, and he played the way he’s supposed to.”
Parr was the team leader in tackles with eight.
The game was virtually over by the end of the first quarter, a 12-minute mismatch that saw the Rebels pile up 12 first downs, 189 yards and three touchdowns while deflating the Bulldogs with a fumble recovery at its own 25 after Fairley had driven inside the red zone from its own 38 in 10 plays.
Fair was a big part of all three scores, setting up teammates twice and getting the call himself once.
Fair had four carries for 40 yards on the Rebels’ opening drive, which ended with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Phipps to McGrew. Fair then ran 19 yards to end a 75-yard drive that took just four plays and had three carries for 26 yards on the third scoring drive, which saw Parr run in from seven yards out.
Fair set up Parr again late in the second quarter, breaking off runs of 39 and 22 yards in front of Parr’s eight-yard TD run.
Fairley drove deep into Rebel territory again just before the end of the first half before again fumbling away possession.
Holliday made sure that didn’t happen when the second half began, taking off on a 61-yard run at 10:23 of the third quarter to get the ’Dogs within 26-6.
Both teams then had 54-yard scoring marches.
OC scored in nine plays, kept alive by a 32-yard Phipps-to-McGrew pass on third-and-14, and then Fairley answered with a drive of 12 plays.
Phipps finished OC’s drive with a one-yard run, while Holliday scored from two yards out on his eighth consecutive carry.
OC opened its lead to as many as 32 points at 46-14 in the fourth before Fairley scored with just over a minute remaining.
“We had a great week of preparation,” Jackson said. “I was worried about us mentally. I met with the kids on Saturday and said, ‘When I got sick, you guys got sick.’ That’s what my mom told me, and she’s the biggest influence in my life.”
Published in The Messenger 11.7.11

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