The Rebels used power running with timely passing to efficiently move the ball against Pocahontas. They didn't let a couple of penalties daunt them, as they picked up four first downs to move into striking distance.
Then, "sigh," a fumble. Fullback Blake Martin, from the Redskin 23-yard line running behind the left tackle, had the ball knocked out after a 6-yard gain.
Did this knock the air out of the whole team?
It's hard to say, but on Pocahontas' first play, quarterback Matt Sullivan found Ashton Smith on a short screen pass and Smith scampered 79 yards. Two plays later, he scored to set the Redskins on their way to a 42-14 victory on Oct. 24 at Pocahontas.
"We felt like physically, we could match up with them. That we could line up and run the ball. And we did. We started out with all of the confidence in the world," said Rebel Head Coach Clay Wiggins. "I think for a little bit, we had them a little worried on the other sideline, because they didn't have an answer. We get down there and the dadgum turnover bit us in the rear again."
The Rebels ran 37 plays in the first half as opposed to 19 for the Redskins. However, Pocahontas scored all five drives before halftime to set up the 'mercy' rule to start the second half.
Sullivan hit Sean Stone for a 56-yard touchdown pass on their second possession.
Smith weaved his way for a 74-yard touchdown at the 9:32 mark in the second quarter.
Sullivan pushed in from two yards out with 4:30 left in the half.
And with two minutes left, Sullivan swept to the right for an 8-yard TD and a 35-0 lead.
"We just gave up the long plays and a lot of it is our inability to make a tackle in open field," explained Wiggins. "You can see that. Anybody can see that. We just kind of lost confidence."
Highland took its first possession of the second half in for a score after forcing the Redskins' to punt.
A 55-yard reverse by Justin Bryant set up a Martin 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 35-7 with the Jeffrey Tate PAT.
Redskin halfback Luke Smith added a 2-yard TD with 8:31 left in the fourth.
The Rebel offense wasn't done, as Martin picked up nine yards on the first play and then left the game.
Brandon Sharp and Vinnie Roberto moved the ball into Pocahontas territory. Quarterback Will Edmondson, replacing Cannon Davis for the last drive, found his older brother, fullback Payton Edmondson, over the middle for a 25-yard gain. Sharp swept to the left for the final touchdown.
Martin and Payton Edmondson led the Rebel defense with six tackles. Eric Roberts had five.
Martin led the Reb offense with 20 carries for 80 yards with Bryant adding 56 yards on two carries.
Davis was four-of-10 for 45 yards and one interception for Highland. Caleb Davidson caught two passes for 21 yards.
Highland (0-8, 0-6) will celebrate senior night by hosting league-leading Osceola on Oct. 31.