Rebels planning to keep focus versus LanettPublished 11:26am Thursday, September 12, 2013
By Griffin Pritchard
Tallassee Tribune Managing Editor
Coach Jackie O’Neal and his Fightin’ Rebels needed a win last week to cleanse the bad taste by the first-week loss to Dadeville from their pallets.
“It always feels good to win,” said O’Neal, “especially when you do things a little better than you did the week before. I felt like crap last week, because we played like crap (against Dadeville). We picked things up, and we are heading in the right direction.”
The Rebels found their stride emotionally and physically as they defeated Horseshoe Bend 34-14 to kickoff play in Class 2A Region 7.
But, that’s the tip of the competition iceberg for the Rebels as they travel to Lanett Friday night to face a group of Panthers that have defeated Autaugaville and Lafayette a combined 63-20.
“They are very athletic, and it just seems that everybody is getting bigger these days,” said O’Neal. “They’ve changed their offense to run the Wing-T with a lot of misdirection. They throw the ball adequately well, and we’ve got to go over there and play them. We are going to have our hands full.”
O’Neal is bringing an – up until the Horseshoe Bend affair – unknown entity with him in sophomore running back Cody Martin (143 yards and two touchdowns).
“After the Dadeville game, I didn’t know we had any running backs,” said O’Neal. “I didn’t know if we could run the football. Offensive line really stepped up last week. We made some changes and the people responded. We moved the ball extremely well.”
While the depth chart was shuffled last week leading up to the Horseshoe Bend game, the trend will continue this week as nine Rebels (forced to sit last week due to disciplinary or injury reasons) work their way back into the line up.
“I always preach to my kids that you are only one play away from being a one,” said O’Neal. “All those kids that played last week will get significant playing time this week.”
Reeltown’s road doesn’t get any smoother after Friday night’s road trip to Lanett.
The Rebels still have a host of region games left and then will play unbeaten Loachapoka (2-0, Class 1A) Week 5.