Although there is no excuse for getting a personal foul, the passion and fight that goes into that kind of defense can be appreciated.
This year's Rebel defense is a bunch of the nicest guys you'll ever want to meet.
Just pleasant and friendly.
That's just one of the reasons Highland (0-5, 0-2) is winless this season following a 35-7 loss to Trumann at home on Oct. 3.
"We don't have any people on our defense that are naturally agressive tacklers," said Rebel Head Coach Clay Wiggins. "We've tried to make them that way. We've tried to improve them, but we just can't. We've got people that aren't getting blocked and just aren't making the tackle."
The team seemed to be making headway in the first half.
The Rebels gave up one touchdown, but forced two punts and safety Matt Schneider intercepted Trumann quarterback Blaike Jones deep in Highland territory to stop the Wildcats' first drive.
"We weren't tackling very well, but we played them defensively pretty sound. Held them to seven points," remarked Wiggins. "The quarterback (Jones) is really fast. The running back (Zachray Thompson) is really fast."
To the defense of the defense, the offense didn't help them late in this game.
Quarterback Cannon Davis threw three interceptions in the second half.
One came with the Rebels knocking on the door of the end zone and the other one went for a 72-yard Wildcat touchdown.
Plus, the offense didn't even get into Trumann territory until late in the first half.
"We're not blocking anybody. We've had a few sparks. One or two plays a game. But other than that we just can't sustain any drives," explained Wiggins. "We jump offsides. We hold."
Punter Justin Bryant averaged 37 yards on five punts to help regain some field position for the Rebels.
Trumann went up 28-0 the following way: Thompson ran for a 3-yard touchdown in the first half, then the Wildcats took the opening second-half drive 60 yards for a Colton Turner 6-yard score. Thompson then found an opening for a 25-yard TD run, and Jones hit Tommy Harris for an 8-yard pass in the end zone. Luis Gutierrez made all five of his point-after attempts.
Davis' pass to Bryant was incomplete, but fullback Blake Martin picked up three and running back Michael Tarver got close to a first down on the next play. Instead of going for the blast up the middle on fourth and short, Davis hit senior receiver Caleb Davidson for a 16-yard gain. Two runs by Martin for nine and 14 yards set Tarver for an 11-yard touchdown lunge. Jeffrey Tate added the PAT.
Davidson recovered the onside kick when a Wildcat front linesmen batted the ball down the field.
The Highland offense was on the move again as Davis connected Martin for 18 yards on the quick pass, but the drive came to a halt by an interception for the final score.
Coty Woodson had 12 tackles for the Rebel defense. Eric Roberts and Payton Edmondson had eight apiece. Martin led Rebel rushers with 93 yards, followed by Tarver with nine carries for 31 yards. Davis was eight-of-18 for 65 yards. Davidson had three receptions for 30 yards.
On Oct. 11, Highland will play the Warriors at Arkansas State University as part of Westside's 40th anniversary celebration.
"We've just got to try to keep working and hopefully next week we can try to get us one at Jonesboro Westside," said Wiggins.