The Rebels weathered the Caveman double-wing offense, forced three turnovers and used a few big plays to earn a 35-0 opening-night win at Highland on Sept. 2.
Playing without senior Tyler Poulette, the Caveman relied on five different rushers to move the ball.
Highland started the game by forcing a Caveman punt, which allowed Brennon Severn to return the ball to the Cave City 9-yard line. But the Caveman defense kept the Rebel offense from scoring as Ethan Hoppe's 23-yard field goal attempt was just wide right.
Even with a sack of Caveman quarterback Jeremy Runyan by Rebel defensive end Kyle Brison for an 11-yard loss, Cave City was able to put together a long 13-play, 70-yard drive to the Highland 10-yard line.
But a fumble recovery by Severn brought the drive to a halt.
Running back Jordan Brewer picked up 20 yards on two carries. Quarterback Sterling Stowers found the sideline for a 48-yard scamper to put the Rebels in position for a 19-yard pass from Stowers to Hoppe over the defender in the end zone.
Sophomore running back Rob Vaughn added the 2-point conversion to give Highland an 8-0 lead with four seconds left in the first quarter.
Linebacker Carr Hill recovered Cave City's second fumble two plays into the next drive at the Caveman 24-yard line.
Stowers picked up a first down on third-and-6 on a 15-yard rush before Brewer squirted up the middle for the 5-yard touchdown.
Garrett Sublett ran the swinging gate to perfection by hitting tight end Quinton Maag in the end zone to complete the conversion and make the score 16-0 early in the second quarter.
Caveman running back Joe Valadez had a 14-yard rush for a first down, but the drive stalled, forcing a punt.
Regular punter Justin Ramos, who left the field early with an injury, was unable to punt on the series. This forced Kody White into action. The ball rolled past White. After tracking down the ball, he blasted the punt into Rebel defender Zack Arnold. Highland's Dillion Miller picked up the ball and ran about 40 yards for a touchdown and a 22-0 halftime lead.
Highland covered Cave City's onside kick to start the second half. Brewer and Stowers took turns running the ball for short gains. Stowers threw a perfect strike over the defender to Severn in the end zone for 32-yard TD and a 28-0 score.
As the night's one-man-wrecking-crew, Severn intercepted a Runyan pass that was tipped twice at the Rebel 46.
The two teams exchanged punts before the Caveman faked a punt deep in Rebel territory, giving Highland the ball at the Cave City 29 late in the game.
Junior running back Dalton Woods picked up five yards on second down and then rescued Stowers who tossed him the ball while being dragged to the ground by a couple of Cavemen.
Woods rumbled for 24 yards and was rewarded by getting the ball on the next play for a six-yard touchdown. Hoppe's PAT completed the scoring for the night.
Ramos led the Cave City rushers with 92 yards on 17 carries. Brandon Telford had 15 carries for 46 yards. Runyan was five-of-10 for 35 yards passing to go with five carries for 22 yards.
Stowers had 137 yards on 11 carries for Highland, along with seven-of-16 for 99 yards passing. Brewer added 10 carries for 53 yards.