Rebels look for next in line

Rebels look for next in line
Messenger Sports Editor
It’ll be “next man up” for Obion Central this week, according to head coach Shawn Jackson.
Jackson said he’ll shuffle the lineup on both sides of the ball in the Rebels’ second-round Class 4A playoff game at Covington  this week — just as he does each Friday
“It’s the next man up,” the Obion Central coach said on Sunday.
“We have people who play or don’t play every week with injuries, and we’ll treat it this week as if whoever doesn’t play for whatever reason is hurt.”
Jackson said several regulars were nursing various injuries this week, including linebacker Josh Quinton, offensive lineman Landry Nolan, and two-way player Tanner Cary.
“Somebody’s gotta step up. I’ve said all along that you don’t win championships with ones (starters), you win them twos and threes. Depth is so important, especially at this time of the year. Teams have injuries all the time, and the really good ones who go deep into the postseason are the ones who have kids seize an opportunity like this and make it their chance to shine.”
Jackson said Mason McGrew and LaDevin Fair will step into more prominent roles on defense.
The coach said Blake Rudd and Jordan Smith would likely split time at a receiver spot on offense.
“We’re fortunate to have gotten some kids some playing time at those positions beforehand, so it’s not like we’ll be throwing them into the fire without any experience,” Jackson said.
The sixth-ranked Rebels will be looking to avenge a 50-36 loss in Week 8 vs. No. 3 Covington in their Class 4A Round 2 playoff game Friday night.
The Chargers rushed for a whopping 512 yards in that first meeting and totaled 571 in all in a contest that produced 1,041 yards between the two clubs in all.
UC NOT CHOOSY — In Darren Bowling’s perfect little world, Union City would beat Lake County — and everyone else for that matter — 21-0.
Admittedly, though, he will take 50-49.
While many are expecting more offensive fireworks between the two programs that have produced a combined 96 points between them in three of their last four meetings, the Tornado head coach said he’ll obviously take any final tally that has his team advancing after their Friday night Class 1A second round postseason matchup.
“If I had my druthers, we’d shut them out and have about three 16- or 17-play drives that would eat up the entire game clock,” Bowling chuckled.
History says that’s not likely to happen.
The Falcons rallied to win an earlier matchup this season 52-46 and triumphed last year 60-40 vs. UC.
In Bowling’s first season at the Twister helm in 2008, the Purple and Gold recorded a 55-41 victory. And Union City hung another 49 points on LC in its march to the Class 1A state title, blanking the Falcons in the only non-shootout in the past four matchups.
“Lake County has big-play kids and we’ve done a poor job of tackling them in the open field and in space,” the coach said of the teams’ recent meetings.
“And I think they’ve struggled matching up to us physically up front.”
And while he wouldn’t speculate on the possibility of another high-scoring affair, Bowling knows his team’s best chances at winning and advancing to the quarterfinals won’t be enhanced by points aplenty.
“Our chances of winning a shootout are never good, simply because of the style we play,” he said.
“I’m not saying we can’t win a high-scoring game, just that our chances go down, I believe, when the score goes up.”
Published in The Messenger 11.9.11

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