With tackles for losses on the first two plays of the game, senior linebacker Scott Gatewood let the Warriors know that yards would be hard to come by.
The Rebel defense held the Warriors to 138 yards of total offense and started the game forcing three three-and-outs to lead Highland to a 42-6 conference victory at Westside on Sept. 24.
The Reb offense put together a very efficient opening drive, moving 65-yards on 10-plays, concluding with quarterback Sterling Stowers' 4-yard TD run.
Ethan Hoppe, who was a perfect six-of-six on point-after attempts, gave the Rebels a 7-0 first quarter lead.
Highland's second drive was stopped by a Brad House interception of a Stowers' pass.
Ben Markway returned a punt to the Warrior 49 and Jordan Brewer scrambled for a 40-yard gain on third down to set up a 1-yard run by Brewer for the score. With 10 minutes left in the half, Highland led 14-0.
Starting with good field position, Westside drove to the Rebel 27-yard line, but a false start penalty gave them fourth-and-9 at the 33. Defensive back Michael Copeland had to jump high to knock away the pass along the sideline and give the ball back to Highland on downs.
Once again, Stowers had a pass intercepted by House, who returned it to the Rebel 38.
The Warrior offense ground out yards, getting it to the 6, but the ball was fumbled by House and recovered by Copeland at the four with 61 seconds left in the half.
"They just lined up tonight and they just ran it right at us," said Rebel Head Coach Clay Wiggins. "They did a good job, except they turned it over a few of times, which we took advantage of."
Take advantage they did.
Gatewood charged ahead for a 13-yard gain on the first play and Brewer added another seven.
Stowers' deep pass to Garrett Sublett along the sideline was just out of reach, but his pass to Hoppe over the middle for a 22-yard gain was right on the mark. He went back to Sublett for a 21-yard gain that got Highland to the Warrior 33 with seven seconds left.
After the timeout, Stowers launched a rainbow pass to the very back of the end zone and found Markway, who got one foot down before falling out of bounds to give the Rebs a 21-0 halftime lead.
"We work on the two minute drill every week," explained Wiggins. "We felt if we could run the ball and get it down there, why not take a shot?"
Not wasting any time at the start of the second half, Highland scored on its first two possessions to initiate the competition clock. The Reb offense opened the second half with a seven-play, 63-yard drive. Stowers ran for 40 yards on three carries, and Brewer scored from seven yards out.
On their next possession, Stowers found Sublett for a 29-yard pass along the sideline, and Brewer finished the drive with a 3-yard TD run and a 35-0 lead.
"I didn't think we were as crisp on offense as we have been. We were able to score some points," said Wiggins. "I thought we came out in the second half with a little more intensity."
Defensive back J.J. Moore recovered a Westside fumble at the Warrior 22.
Xavier Weiand scored on a 3-yard rush to make the score 42-0.
Against the second team defense, Westside scored on a 13-play, 58-yard drive with House going in from the 2-yard line.
Stowers was eight-of-13 for 128 yards and had 69 yards on six carries. Brewer rushed 16 times for 127 yards.
Westside only passed the ball four times in the game. Markway, who was one of three players leading the nation in interceptions, didn't get a chance to add to his total.
Highland (4-0, 1-0) has a bye this week, but will return to action against the Blazers at Valley View on Oct. 8.