The Highland junior Rebels have had an up and down season, but there has only been ups for Pocahontas, as the undefeated Redskins have dominated every team they've played.
Highland matched them score-for-score in the first half, and even intercepted two of Spencer Thielemier's passes, but the junior Rebs couldn't match them in the second half, falling 22-8 at home on Oct. 16.
"I'm extremely proud of the way our kids played. They played like Highland Rebels tonight," said junior Rebel Head Coach Spencer Hill. "This is probably our best night offensively. That's hard to say when you've got eight points on the board. Nobody's played Pocahontas within 30 points all year and we had first-and-goal from the 4 and we just couldn't punch it in."
Highland recovered a Thielemier fumble to stop the junior Redskins' first drive.
A 19-yard rush by Sterling Stowers and two rushes for 13 yards by Michael Moore got the junior Rebs into Pocahontas territory, but they could go no farther.
The junior Skins put together a quick five-play series for 63 yards, concluding with a Demetris Noles 5-yard touchdown.
The junior Rebels responded with a 15-play, 80-yard drive kept alive by a 17-yard Stowers run on third down. Quarterback Garrett Sublett plunged in from one yard out. Sublett's pass to tight end Cotie Lacount for the 2-point conversion tied the score.
Defensive back Ben Markway picked off Theilemier's pass to Jack Baltz, but the junior Rebel's gave it back on a fumble at the Redskin 24. Stowers picked off the halfback pass at the end of the first half.
A haphazard first drive of the second half doomed the junior Rebs as they were forced to punt from the 3-yard line.
"We got a penalty on the first play and that just threw us off our rhythm. You've got to be able to overcome penalties from time to time," said Hill. "We wanted to come out in the second half and take the lead, because Pocahontas has never had to come from behind before."
Running back Jonathan Adams gave Pocahontas the lead back with a 12-yard sweep.
Once again, Highland manufactured a 15-play, 57-yard drive, but couldn't punch it in.
Noles added a 12-yard score with a minute left in the game.
The Reb defense was led by Stowers with seven tackles followed by J.J. Moore and Sublett with six apiece.
"Defense -- by far the best they've played. We played a lot more physical, because that's what Pocahontas has done to everyone all year," said Hill. "We matched them physically tonight, so I'm very proud of that."
Stowers had 127 yards on 19 carries. Michael Moore rushed nine times for 47 yards and Sublett had 11 carries for 32 to go with his five-of-10 for 55 yards passing. Stowers also had 57 receiving yards.