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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Eagles too much for Rebels

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

(Photo)
Photo/Sparks SAFETY NET: Highland's Vinnie Roberto forces Greene County Tech's Justin Johnson to cough up the football in the Eagles' end zone during Highland's Sept. 11 trip to Paragould. The safety was the Rebs' only points in a 41-2 setback to Class 5A GCT.
In the opening week, Highland used the stormy weather and wet field to contain Class 6A Mountain Home's option game and nearly pulled off the upset, falling 14-7 at home on Sept. 4.

It should be noted that Mountain Home beat Harrison 35-28 at home in week two.

Week two was a rougher road for the Rebels, travelling to Paragould, as Class 5A Greene County Tech felt comfortable on their dry field, scoring on all but three possessions to give the Eagles a 41-2 win over Highland on Sept 11.

(Photo)
Photo/Sparks GOT YA: Rowdy Trivitt drags down a GCT Eagle Sept. 11 in Paragould.
GCT methodically used its swing passes to the right and to the left for a nine-play touchdown drive that saw quarterback Justin Johnson hit Standrick Williams on a 26-yard scoring pass over the middle with just three minutes gone in the game. The PAT was not successful.

A holding call on the kickoff forced the Rebels to start their opening drive from the 10-yard line, but Highland put together a 13-play drive with fullback Scott Gatewood rushing four times for 33 yards, Blake Martin taking the ball five times for 20 and quarterback Will Edmondson hitting Brandon Sharp twice for 30 yards.

The drive stalled at the Eagle 2-yard line and the Rebs gave up the ball on downs.

On the next play, Vinnie Roberto forced Johnson to fumble in the end zone. Highland wasn't able to recover the ball, but the Rebs picked up their only points of the game on the safety.

The Rebels found themselves down only 6-2 with less than two minutes left in the first quarter.

Instead of having a short field after the safety, a kick return snafu where the ball bounced between and past the returners gave the Rebs the ball at their-own 20-yard line. It would be too much and they were forced to punt after three plays.

Johnson and Williams connected on a 30-yard touchdown with the Rebel defense struggling to get a solid tackle on the Eagle receiver. The fake PAT for a successful two-point conversion made the score 14-2.

At the three-minute mark, Eagle defensive back Kyle Davis intercepted a Garrett Sublett pass and returned it 70 yards for the 21-2 advantage.

Nicks, bruises and injuries started to take their toll on Highland and Jake Horton was asked to take over kick returner duties as well as running back.

Horton carried his first kickoff all the way to the Eagle 47.

The Rebels could not take advantage of the field position.

GCT recovered an Edmondson fumble in Highland territory and four plays later, Johnson found Brandon Potter on the screen pass for a 9-yard TD and a 28-2 lead before halftime.

After a Rebel three-and-out to start the second half, the Eagles used five plays to get a nine-yard Tanner Wright TD rush for a 35-2 lead.

Highland's next best chance to score came when Horton recovered a Potter fumble at the GCT 9-yard line.

Horton picked up two yards on first down. Gatewood was held for no gain and Sharp lost three yards on third down. An incomplete pass by Edmondson gave the ball back on downs at the Eagle 10.

Greene County used up most of the remaining clock by running the ball 17 times to get running back Tyler Morgan a two-yard rush for the final score.

Gatewood had 12 carries for 57 yards followed by Martin with nine for 39 yards.

Rebel defensive back Skylar Jones picked off a Tommy Feliccia pass on the Bombers' first drive to help set the tone for Highland's defensive effort against Mountain Home.

The Rebel offense couldn't convert and the Bombers' fullback Chris Wenneberg took their next offensive play 60 yards for a 6-0 lead half way through the first quarter, but the tone was still set.

Highland forced Mountain Home to give the ball back on downs and punt on its next two possessions and in between, the offense found the end zone on a nine-play drive.

Martin started the series with a 12-yard run. Sharp bobbled but pulled in the Sublett pass for a 32-yard gain into Bomber territory. Gatewood had rushes of 11 and 14 to set up a Sublett option keeper and dive into the right side of the end zone. Coty Woodson's PAT gave Highland a 7-6 lead.

The Reb offense couldn't sustain their next drive and the Jonathan Trivitt's punt placed the ball at the Mountain Home 26 with 3:44 left in the half. As it turned out, this was plenty of time to drive the 74 yards for a Wenneberg 15-yard TD run and Feliccia two-point conversion for a 14-7 halftime lead.

The end of the first half was played in rain, with lightning flashing in the distance. The halftime was extended for an hour-and-a half until the lightning had left the area.

At 10:30 p.m., the Rebels took the second half kickoff at their 20-yard line and designed a long drive which was their best chance to tie the game.

With seven first downs, including an Edmondson to Martin 20-yard swing pass to the Bomber 10 on third down, the Reb offense was clicking.

Unfortunately, typically sure-handed Gatewood fumbled the ball on the next play that was recovered by Mountain Home.

The two teams finished the game by combining for five punts and three unsuccessful fourth down plays.

Martin led the Highland rushers with 73 yards on 15 carries and two receptions for 35 yards. Gatewood had eight carries for 61 yards.

Roberto led the team with seven tackles. Jones and Woodson had six tackles each.

The Rebels had eight penalties for 55 yards, while the Bombers were penalized five times for 45.

Highland, 0-2, will travel to Hoxie on Sept. 18.



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