Archived Story

Dogs fast start too much for RHS on homecoming

Published 12:44am Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Reeltown Rebels lost a heartbreaker to the Lafayette Bulldogs Friday night at Nix-Webster Stadium when a second half comeback fell just short in a 30-29 defeat.

After trailing 30-13 late in the third quarter, the Bulldogs stormed back to within one point with 4:02 left in the game. But, a successful fake punt by Lafayette with seconds on the clock ended any hope of a Rebel miracle.

“We played terrible in the first half tonight and made mistakes at crucial moments that put us way behind,” said Reeltown head coach Jackie O’Neal. “But, our defense really picked it up in the second half and gave our offense a chance to win the game, but we just fell short.”

The game ended on a controversial note when Reeltown coaches argued for several minutes with the referees over a non-call on the fake punt that essentially won the game.

“That play was ridiculous. The refs should have called a penalty because several Lafayette linemen were illegally downfield, “O’Neal said. “But, we never should have been in that position anyway. Our poor play at critical moments is what cost us the game.”

Defensively, the Rebels were confused for most of the first half and allowed a very balanced Bulldog offense to gain 232 total yards by halftime. Lafayette quarterback Raquazious Boyd torched the Rebels with 143 yards in the air and three touchdowns.

However, Reeltown clamped down in the second half and allowed just 86 yards and three first downs. The Bulldog ground attack disappeared as the Rebels held them to only 12 total yards on 11 carries.

The Rebels missed the services of injured star running back Tywone Stewart on both offense and defense, though the offense still managed to produce 219 yards on the ground. Kemond Gauntt led all rushers with 110 yards.

Lafayette started the game on fire with a 16-play, 69-yard touchdown drive that ended with a Boyd pass to receiver Dashiro Abner and a 6-0 lead with 4:39 to go in the first quarter. This drive featured a very balanced mix of runs and passes, which created trouble for Reeltown the entire first half.

The Rebels immediately responded with a 7-play, 56-yard scoring drive of their own when Reeltown running back Buster Kelley found the end zone on a 2-yard run with 52 seconds left in the quarter.

Now leading 7-6, it looked like the Rebels were ready to get down to business. However, the Bulldogs had other plans as their offense completely dominated the remainder of the first half by scoring 18 unanswered points on scoring drives of 60, 77 and 29 yards.

The last score was a knife to the heart of the Rebel team when quarterback Cody Spivey was intercepted by Bulldog defensive back Jerquin Vines on the Rebel’s 29-yard line with only 33 seconds to go in the half.

Taking advantage of this gift, Boyd threw a 16-yard touchdown strike to Abner with only 19 seconds to go. Leading 24-7, it looked like Lafayette was poised to upset the Rebels in their own house.

The second half witnessed a complete reversal of fortune as Reeltown’s offense came out and drove the ball down the field on a 8-play, 58 yard touchdown drive capped by Gauntt’s 2-yard dive into the end zone that closed the score to 24-13.

Not to be outdone, the Rebel defense stuffed the Bulldogs for most of the second half, only allowing one touchdown, which came early in the third quarter when the Rebel offense fumbled a snap on their own 20 yard line and gave Lafayette a short field and a 30-13 lead when Boyd threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Vines with 4:26 to go in the third quarter.

At this point, the Rebels went on an offensive rampage with scoring drives of 45 and 38 yards. Led by the running of Gauntt and some timely passes by Spivey, the Rebels pulled to within a field goal of winning the game when Spivey threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to running back Ladrae Reynolds. Both scoring drives were capped by successful 2-point conversions by the bruising running of Gauntt.

With just 4:02 to go in the game, Reeltown trailed the Bulldogs 30-29. Unfortunately, that was as close as the Rebels would get, as the Bulldogs were able to run out the clock after making a first down late in the game on a fake punt.

“We really missed Tywone Stewart tonight,” said O’Neal. “His absence limited us on both sides of the ball. We need to work on getting better.”
Reeltown (4-1, 5-2) will face Ranburne next week in another Class 2A, Region 5 showdown.