Archived Story

Rebels fighting for playoffs vs. Isabella

Published 8:23pm Wednesday, October 16, 2013

By Willie G. Moseley/Special to the Outlook

The playoff chances of the Reeltown High School Rebels figure into Friday night’s homecoming game against the Isabella Mustangs, and Coach Jackie O’Neal and his staff are striving to get members of his team to rebound following a one-sided loss last Friday at Montgomery Academy.
RHS now stands at 4-3 overall and 3-2 in Class 2A Region 5, while Isabella is 6-1 overall and 4-1 in Region 5. As of this week, Lanett is the region leader with no losses to regional or non-regional opponents, while Montgomery Academy has the same record as Isabella.
O’Neal envisions a scramble for second, third and fourth place rankings as the regular season heads to its conclusion.
“There could be a couple of scenarios where we could still possibly get a home game for the playoffs, but last week’s game showed us, again, that we’re not in the position where we’d hoped we’d be,” O’Neal said on Tuesday.
Injuries still plague the Rebels, with several key Rebels sidelined.
“They’re still hobbling around,” O’Neal said of his injured players. “It’s been one of those years, and the healthy kids know what they’ve got to do to step up.  Some kids think they’re ready, but sometimes they’re not.”
One advantage – for O’Neal and his staff, at least – is the fact that the Mustangs have been running the Notre Dame Box formation for several years.
“They’ve been doing that since Coach (Scott) Booth has been there,” said O’Neal, “but most of the teams we play run other (offensive) formations. So our coaches know what to expect, but we’ve had to get the kids ready for it. (Isabella’s) offense is basically the same as it was last year.”
Homecoming figures into the Rebels’ quest, but the excitement of a special home game isn’t necessarily advantageous, according to O’Neal.
“There are so many things going on at homecoming that there might be some distractions,” he said. “I’m just trying to get us to focus on what we did wrong against Montgomery Academy last week.”
Game time this Friday at Nix-Webster-O’Neal Stadium is 7 p.m.