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Junior Rebels bounce back against Cave City

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Starting field position and turnovers were the key to the Junior Rebels' 34-12 victory over Cave City at Highland on Oct. 11.

The Rebels first two scores came on drives of 12 and 10 yards, with the first touchdown set up by a Cygh Hale interception of a Joseph Patterson pass.

Playing without Head Coach Adam Carter, due to a death in the family, Defensive Coordinator John Katrosh said, "I think these young men just wanted to show (the Carter family) how much we appreciate Coach Carter and his family."

The Cavemen defense gave up an early first down on a Trace French run, but then stifled the Rebel offense, forcing a punt.

Cave City's Arnold Cunningham lost four yards on first and second downs, and Patterson was intercepted by Hale at the Cavemen 12.

French lost a yard on first down, but on the next play, Brody Ninemire burst through the middle for a 13-yard touchdown. Eighth-grader Preston Gurley, replacing quarterback Reid Maag on the conversion play, threw incomplete to Ninemire.

The Rebel defense pressured Patterson on the Cavemen's next drive to force a punt. When Jacob Patterson had to rush the punt, Highland took over at the Cave City 10 with a 1:36 left in the first quarter.

Maag hit Ninemire for five yards, French came up inches short on the second down rush, and Maag faked a handoff and lobbed a pass to Jake Berton for the score. Maag found Skyler Burton on a conversion pass and a 14-0 lead.

On the next series, Cave City punted as it faced fourth-and-18. While it appeared the punt was going out of bounds, Corey Goodman picked it up around the Cavemen 30 and sprinted in for the TD. Maag was not able to add the conversion, to leave the score at 20-0.

Finally finding their footing, the Cavemen offense put together a 14-play, 62-yard drive, but ran out of time as the buzzer sounded with Cave City at the Highland three yard line. The drive was spurred by three passes from Joseph Patterson to Jacob Patterson, of 14, 5, and 28 yards. After grabbing a fourth pass of six yards, Patterson tried push his way into the end zone, but the Rebels kept him out as the clock ran out.

To start the second half, Donathan Burns picked up eight yards on two carries, but Cave City receiver Caleb Smart and Rebel defensive back Creston Duncan fought for a Patterson pass on the next play. Duncan came away with the interception at the Cavemen 39.

An all-Ninemire drive saw the wildcat quarterback/fullback throw an incomplete pass to Maag, then run four times for 37 yards, including a one-yard touchdown rush. Ninemire added the conversion for a 28-0 advantage with 4:55 left in the third quarter.

Getting 20 yards on five carries by Cunningham, Cave City moved into position for a Patterson to Haston Bullard 35-yard TD strike to get on the board, 26-6.

French responded for Highland with a 10-yard run, followed by a breakaway 57-yard touchdown scamper for the Rebels final score.

Maag intercepted Patterson on Cave City's next series, but the Rebels were forced to punt after one first down.

The Cavemen then moved 66-yards in five plays, alternating runs from Cunningham and Colton Croslin. Cunningham swept in for a 29-yard score.

Highland (6-1, 4-1) was led by French with five carries for 87 yards, and Ninemire with 49 yards on six carries.

"I thought the kids played hard and took the fight to Cave City. We got some turnovers early and our offense got the ball in the end zone, so it was just a great night for the Rebels," Katrosh added.

Cave City was led by Cunningham with 43 yards on 11 carries. Joseph Patterson was eight of 16 for 117 yards passing. Jacob Patterson caught four passes for 53 yards.

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