MIDDLE SCHOOL FOOTBALL
Rebels Top War Eagles, Honor Eighth Graders
BY BRAD SAM
McKENZIE (October 5) — The McKenzie Middle School Rebels finished the football season Thursday with a big win over West Carroll, 48-8. Prior to the game, eighth grade players and cheerleaders were recognized on the field.
Football players departing for high school next year include: Wesley Bynum, Zach Chandler, Emil Cody, Andrew Cole, Trey Cook, Will Essary, Jordan Gilbert, Brandon Hatley, Austin Haynes, Kestin Horton, Hayden Hudson, Jaden Johnson, Zayden McCaslin, Collin McClearen, Jake McDaniel, Jaden McMullen, Logan Mingle, Gage Moon, Sawyer Phipps, Chuck Potts, Joseph Powell, Taylor Richardson and Christian Singleton.
Eighth grade cheerleaders include: Emma Barnett, Taylor Hall, Jessica Moore, Meya Prather, Anna Grace Spivey and Hadley Woodruff.
West Carroll won the coin toss
Photo by Brad Sam/The Banner and elected to receive. Starting from the 27, quarterback Zander Moon ran twice for a total of four yards, stopped each time by Rebel Andrew Cole. On third down, Jay Long gained just a yard before Daniel Latimer made the tackle, and the War Eagles punted.
McKenzie took over at the far 39, with Kestin Horton running for five. He repeated for 16 across midfield, then Jake McDaniel caught a screen pass for a four-yard gain. On second down, War Eagle Joshua Clark caught Jaden Johnson in the backfield for a short loss, then did the same to Marquez Taylor to force a fourth down attempt. Quarterback Zayden McCaslin threw to McDaniel for a 38-yard touchdown. Horton converted the two-point conversion, and the Rebels led, 8-0, late in the first frame.
The War Eagles started the ensuing drive at the 30. Blayne Brawner lost a yard to a Hayden Hudson tackle, then Moon threw incomplete. Brawner gained five on third down, and West Carroll punted.
Horton ran for six in the last play of the first, then crossed midfield to start the second and move the chains. Johnson took the next handoff 43 yards for a touchdown. Horton earned two extra points, and the Rebels led, 16-0, early in the second quarter.
West Carroll started the next drive deep at the 15. Long lost six yards to McDaniel, then Moon’s second-down throw was intercepted by Rebel Sawyer Phipps and returned the short distance for a touchdown. Horton again added two points to give McKenzie a 24-0 advantage with 6:32 to play in the first half.
The War Eagles began at the 28 with Moon keeping for five yards. Brawner was then stopped for no gain by a host of Rebel defenders. The next play resulted in a West Carroll fumble recovered by Rebel Trey Cook at the 27.
Horton took the first McKenzie snap in for a touchdown, then stayed perfect on two-point conversions to give the Rebels a commanding, 32-0 lead four and a half minutes before the intermission.
Starting at the 29, West Carroll ran twice for short losses, then a Rebel penalty made it thirdand- seven. Moon threw to Tyler Shaddon for 14 yards to move the chains, then Brawner ran twice for six yards. A false start set the War Eagles back, and Brawner gained eight to bring up fourthand- one. Moon dove across the first-down marker, then threw incomplete. Brawner gained two, then Moon’s pass was batted down by McCaslin. Brawner ran for a short gain as time expired. At the half, McKenzie led, 32-0.
West Carroll began the second half with an onside kick attempt, but the ball failed to travel ten yards, and the Rebels started at the War Eagle 42. Horton ran for a yard, stopped by Shaddon, then Johnson weaved through defenders for a 41-yard score. McCaslin kept this time on the two-point attempt, hopping across to make the score 40-0 less than a minute into the third.
The War Eagles started the ensuing drive at the 35. Moon kept for six yards, then threw to Shaddon for a first down across midfield. Shaddon carried next for eight yards, then repeated, but lost three. Moon threw incomplete on third down, but found Shaddon again to move the chains. He threw to Clark for another first down, then Shaddon carried twice for a total of one yard to end the third. Moon started the final frame with a 14-yard keeper, diving into the pylon for a touchdown. Shaddon converted the twopoint attempt, and the McKenzie lead was cut to 40-8 just into the fourth.
Another West Carroll onside attempt started the Rebels at their own 46. On first down, a McKenzie fumble was briefly recovered by a War Eagle defender before it was dropped again. McCaslin dove on the loose ball to make it second-and-18. He threw incomplete, then handed off to Horton, who met a host of defenders after a three-yard pickup. The Rebels punted, and West Carroll took over at the far 45.
War Eagle Seth Edwards was tackled in the backfield by Cook, then ran again for no gain. His next attempt netted three yards, followed by a short loss on fourth down.
Taking over at the War Eagle 41, Rebel Etijay Tharpe went the distance. New quarterback Bryston Steele kept for the two-point conversion, and McKenzie led, 48-8, with a minute to go in the contest.
Moon made a great return down to the Rebel 16, and Brawner ran twice for solid gains before time expired.
Photo by Brad Sam/The Banner