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ATWOOD (August 30) — The McKenzie Middle School Rebels traveled to West Carroll Thursday and were rolling against the War Eagles, but mother nature made the biggest impact as lightning forced officials to call the game just before halftime. The Rebel offense scored twice and the defense once as McKenzie took a 24-0 win in the shortened contest.
West Carroll won the coin toss and elected to receive. The Rebels attempted an onside kick, but Hunter Walters secured the ball for the War Eagles. They ran the ball three times for a total of five yards to reach midfield, then turned the ball over on downs with an incomplete pass.
Rebel Etijay Tharpe ran three straight times for 39 total yards down to the War Eagle 11. Quarterback Jackson Cassidy kept for six yards, then Rashad McCreary took it the final five for a touchdown. McCreary got the call again on the two-point conversion, and McKenzie led 8-0 with 4:30 left to play in the opening frame.
West Carroll started the ensuing drive at the War Eagle 42. Malik Lee lost two yards on first down. There was a fumble on second down, but the War Eagles recovered. On third-and-long, quarterback Jaxon Mims’ off-balance throw was intercepted by Rebel Bryson Steele and run back for a touchdown. Cassidy kept for the two-point conversion, and the McKenzie led 16-0 with just under three to play in the first.
War Eagle Hudson Bolton returned a kickoff from near the 30 up to the 41. Three consecutive running plays resulted in a net loss, and again Mims threw incomplete on fourth down.
Taking over at the West Carroll 42, Cassidy threw incomplete twice, then kept for eight yards as the quarter ended. Tharpe converted the fourth down to start the second frame. Next, Cassidy’s lateral pass was dropped, but Tharpe dove on the live ball. McKenzie nearly lost the ball again on a fumble. Then, on third-and-long, another fumble was recovered by War Eagle Tyler Shaddon.
The War Eagles took over at their own 35, and Shaddon ran 12 yards for a first down. The next play resulted in a fumble, and McKenzie took over once again.
Tharpe ran for three yards, then Rebel Drew Chappell had the ball knocked loose and recovered by Lee.
West Carroll took over deep, and the teams swapped several pre-snap penalties before the War Eagles turned the ball over on downs.
The Rebels took over at the West Carroll 25. After a false start, Cassidy kept for a 23-yard run down to the 6. Tharpe did the rest on the next play, then Cassidy added two points. With 1:42 left in the half, McKenzie led 24-0.
At that point, lightning in the area prompted officials to send both teams to the locker room, with hopes to resume with the third quarter 30 minutes later. After ten minutes, the flashes were moving closer and the bleachers were evacuated. Conditions continued to worsen, and the game was called five minutes later.