Rebels go on road vs. RCHSPublished 1:40pm Thursday, September 19, 2013
By Griffin Pritchard
Tallassee Tribune Managing Editor
Reeltown and Lanett stood toe to toe Friday night with the hometown Panthers coming out the victory in a 20-14 decision.
“I knew it was going to be a hard-hitting game,” said Jackie O’Neal, coach of the Reeltown Rebels. “We didn’t live up to my expectations. We made too many critical mistakes at times. We had all the opportunities to win the game. We just didn’t execute.”
The Rebels’ charge was limited to 162 yards while the Panthers used the Wing-T to best their foes by a little more than 100 yards.
The Panthers and Rebels played to a 7-7 first-half tie, but Reeltown took the lead out of the gates thanks to a two-yard Ariko Stewart run early in the third quarter.
Lanett, however, tied the game and the captured the lead en route to the victory.
“I think the biggest problem for us was our punting game,” said O’Neal. “We averaged about 12-15 yards a punt. We had opportunities to flip the field and couldn’t execute. Our defense kept having to play with a short field at their back. You can’t keep doing that.”
O’Neal said specialties were going to be a major part of practice this week as the Rebels (1-2, 1-1) prepare for a road trip to Wedowee and a hard-hitting contest with Randolph County.
“In the past, it’s always been a very tough game,” said O’Neal. “This year, they are a little down too so it’s hard to get a fix on them. I’ve been looking at them on film. They played Isabella and looked terrible and then they played Lafayette and looked a lot better. I know them playing at home, playing us at home, we’ve got to be ready.”
With a 1-2 mark, the Randolph County Tigers have are like the Rebels, fighting to keep their heads above water in what’s turning out to be a very competitive Class 2A Region 5.
“It’s very important that (my team) understands we are still jockeying for position,” said O’Neal. “We’ve got to take care of business and keep taking care of business. If we win out, we have a chance to tie for first and host a playoff game.”
Sometimes though, the No. 2 team in the region actually gets the better draw.
“But, anything can happen,” said O’Neal. “Montgomer Academy hasn’t lost a game. Neither has Isabella. A lot of things can happen in your region between now and November. It’s important that we take care of Reeltown’s business and just play good football from here on out.”