One of Highland's old 3A foes, the Corning Bobcats, are still tall and large, but they are not the playoff team they were a few years ago and the quicker Rebel team was able to run past the Bobcats on their way to a 55-7 non-conference victory on Sept. 10 at Highland.
"Just like people used to do to us, we could spread them out -- spread the field out," explained Rebel Head Coach Clay Wiggins. "And we had more speed than they did in certain areas, so we could take advantage of that."
On a dry night, but with a muddy field, the Rebels had to punt on their first possession, but Scott Gatewood broke the game open by taking Sterling Stower's quick pass and lumbering 55-yards for the first score.
Ethan Hoppe, who made five of six point after attempts on the night, gave Highland a 7-0 lead early in the first.
Highland kicker Ashton Eash kicked a ground ball toward the Rebel sideline, which the Bobcats failed to cover, possibly thinking it would go out of bounds, but Michael Copeland fell on it to give the Rebels the ball at the Corning 34.
Stowers (four of six for 99 yards) picked up his second throwing touchdown by finding Garrett Sublett on the sideline pass.
Sublett delayed for a second and then raced 31 yards for the score and a 13-0 Highland lead with six minutes left in the first quarter.
Corning punter Luke McDonald pinned Highland at the 8, forcing the Rebels to march 92 yards to score.
On the sixth play of the series, Gatewood (120 all-purpose yards on the night) found a hole through the middle for a 47 yard gain to set up the Jordan Brewer 14-yard TD, followed by a Stowers two-point conversion and a 21-0 advantage.
"Offensively, I felt like we could do some things that they couldn't contend with or they couldn't stop and we were able to show that on offense," said Wiggins.
Corning's only score came when Highland suffered a bad snap fumble that was covered by linebacker Miguel Herrera at the Rebel 31.
Fullback Kody Pierce barreled in from 16 yards out on his first carry of the night. McDonald added the PAT.
Brewer presented Highland's response by picking up 11 on the first play and 61 on the third play for the score.
"Good running back. Keeps his feet. Bounces around. Hard to tackle. He adds another dimension to our offense," Wiggins said of the sophomore Brewer. "You've got him and a quarterback that can run and Gatewood who can pound it up the middle. They've got to defend all of that."
Then Rebel defensive back Ben Markway came up with a long pick-six as he finished the 55-yard return with a leap into the end zone for the 35-7 lead with nearly seven minutes remaining in the first half.
Corning managed a 13-play, 50-yard drive to close out the half without a score.
After forcing the Bobcats to punt on the first drive of the half, the Rebels only needed one-play to start the competition clock.
Brewer, who led all rushers with 193 yards on eight carries, swept past Corning for an 85-yard touchdown run.
Replacing Stowers, sophomore Quinton Maag added another rushing TD from 11 yards to push the score to 48-7. After Eash blocked the Bobcat punt, senior Jake Horton rushed for 5 yards and the final score. Next, Highland will host a more formidable opponent in the Hoxie Mustangs on Sept. 17.