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Friday, May 6, 2016

Gosnell too much for Junior Rebels

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Prior to the Rebel Junior High game against Gosnell, on Thursday, Oct. 4., a few Highland fans had an "oh my" moment looking over the Junior Pirate players. There was a college-size defensive tackle warming up with the team, and there was Carlos Blackmon, a running back that physically could have been mistaken for a runner like Eddie George or Darren McFadden. After watching the first few Rebel offensive series, it isn't hard to believe the Junior Rebs were also a little overwhelmed by the size of the Pirates.

Blackmon scored three of Gosnell's five touchdowns to lead the Pirates to a 34-14 conference victory over Highland at Gosnell.

"We evidently didn't have them ready, as coaches," said Junior Rebel Head Coach Adam Carter. "We didn't tackle well. I thought our game plan was in place. I felt like we were in the right spots, but we didn't tackle well. Our offense was inept in the first half. We couldn't move the ball. Couldn't get a snap. Couldn't get a hand off correct. I think they were nervous, and I think they let them get to them, a little bit."

Gosnell started with a seven-play, 52-yard drive ending with a Blackmon 13-yard touchdown run. A conversion run from the eight-yard line, because of Pirate offside call, failed due to a fumble.

Highland punted after three plays on its first series, which Blackmon returned 45 yards for another score. Brian Anderson swept in for the two-point conversion and a quick 14-0 lead.

The Rebel offense was held to negative two yards on its next drive, and Anderson made the score 20-0 on a four-yard TD run after a seven-play, 56-yard drive. The Reb defense stopped the conversion run.

Quarterback Reid Maag was dropped for a 10-yard loss on a third down play. Brody Ninemire got off a 20-yard punt that Anderson fumbled and Highland's Jerry Jones recovered at the midfield. Maag wasted no time scampering for a 49-yard touchdown on the next play. Maag's pass to Blake Goodson was incomplete, but Highland was on the scoreboard, 20-6 with 3:47 left in the half.

Gosnell took the next series 63-yards on eight plays for a Anderson sweep from two-yards out. He also completed the conversion for a 28-6 halftime score.

The second half was completely different as the Rebel offense was able to move the ball, and the defense stymied the Pirate offense.

Highland started the half with a nine-play, 26-yard drive that stalled on downs at the Pirate 44, and ate over four minutes of the clock.

The Reb defense contained Gosnell on three plays to force a punt. When the Reb offense went back on the field, they put together another extended drive, that was helped by a personal foul penalty on a Rebel punt. But, once again, Highland gave up the ball on downs.

Cygh Hale intercepted an Andrew Scott pass and returned it to the Pirate 28, but a Highland personal foul after the interception pushed ball back to the Gosnell 43. Trace French lost six yards on first down. Maag was sacked for a five-yard loss on second down. Ninemire picked up six yards on third down, before hitting Jake Berton along the sideline for a 48-yard touchdown strike. Ninemire added the conversion to cut the score to 28-14.

Gosnell recovered the onside kick at its own 48, and used four plays to get Blackmon a 25-yard TD for the game's final score.

"They've got good looking kids. They've got a great football team. They've got a bright future in front of them," Carter said of Gosnell. "We're going to see them again, and we're going to give them our best effort again."

Maag led the Highland Juniors (5-1, 3-1), who suffered their first defeat, with nine carries for 57 yards, and was one of nine for 27 yards passing. Ninemire was one of two for 48 yards passing to go with 11 carries for 45 yards. Berton had two receptions for 75 yards.

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