Everyone on the outside might be looking at Reeltown’s Week 2 matchup with Fayetteville as a pushover — almost like a practice game as the Rebels get ready to take on LaFayette in a few weeks in what’s expected to be a more meaningful Class 2A Region 4 game.
But if this weekend of college football proved anything, it proved anything can happen. And if the Rebels think for one second of overlooking anyone, Reeltown coach Matt Johnson is prepared to remind them of one thing: Georgia State, which defeated Tennessee in the season opener Saturday.
“We’re dealing with teenage kids, so who knows what can happen?” Johnson said. “We’ve got to do what we’re supposed to do and not listen to all this outside stuff about how we have a couple weeks to get ready for LaFayette. That’s three weeks away. I want to know what we have to do today to get better and not have that mentality.”
Fayetteville has never beaten Reeltown in seven total meetings, and the Wolves haven’t even come close the last two years. The Rebels have outscored Fayetteville, 103-0, the last two seasons. But that’s in the past.
Although Fayetteville has traditionally been one of the pushovers in the region — it hasn’t had a winning season since 2015 — none of that can come into play for Reeltown (2-0). The Wolves also sit at 2-0 with wins over Woodland and Victory Christian under their belt, and they’ll be hungry for a statement win against the Rebels.
“They do some things that you really have to be mindful of,” Johnson said. “They have a lot of unbalanced sets. They try to get a lot of people to one side to make you over shift to come back to the backside. Their quarterback (Andrew Machen) is not a bad athlete, and they have a couple big guys up front.”
Fayetteville will be a run-first offense and on the opposite side, it’ll look to stop Reeltown’s rushing attack.
“They’ll probably be more multiple against us,” Johnson said. “They’ll pile a bunch of people in the box and try to take away the run and make us either step up to that challenge or we may just have to throw the ball around a little bit.”
But the Rebels should have an answer as Iverson Hooks looked poised under center. Although he was under a lot of pressure against Dadeville’s strong pass blocking, Hooks had a way of scrambling out of trouble and either moving the chains with his feet or getting the ball successfully to a receiver.
Reeltown also has plenty of options of guys who can run the ball.
“The depth in our backfield has come on very strong,” Johnson said. “I didn’t know that they would pick up this quick. In the backfield we’ve got of course Cameron Faison, Scooter Brooks, Jay Corbitt, Tyvon Waver; Tre Tre Hughley is going get some more snaps back there. When we’re in the bone, we’ve got fullbacks in Robert Crittenden and Dee Griffin, and we haven’t even seen Johnny Brown back there who can also do it.”
The offensive line also has stepped up its game. Johnson said the line graded at a 70% or less the first week but improved to 85% Thursday night.
But none of that is going to matter if the Rebels don’t continue to stay focused, especially with a game that now officially matters in region play.
“Practices will be more amped up this week than they have been,” Johnson said. “We’ll be getting after their tails because we cannot let any complacency seep in and miss an opportunity to grow on a Friday night. I don’t want to say, ‘Well, let’s just get by.’”