Rebels dominate Indians 57-30; Take overall lead in the series

//Rebels dominate Indians 57-30; Take overall lead in the series

Rebels dominate Indians 57-30; Take overall lead in the series

Byrnes was able to keep Gaffney at arms-length in a big early season contest on Friday night long enough for the knockout punch in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, the offensive line imposed its will as the Rebels finished off a 431-yard rushing effort and a 57-30 victory in a key Region II-5A matchup.

Rahjai Harris did most of the damage, rushing for 304 of those yards and four touchdowns on 32 carries. His first TD came on a 75-yard dash in the second quarter. He added three in the punishing fourth quarter on runs of 7, 19 and 89 yards.

The Rebels (5-0, 2-0), ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 5A, started fast and ended strong.

Brayden Blackmon rushed for a 4-yard touchdown to get things started for the Rebels. Byrnes opted for a 2-point conversion, which Blackmon also rushed for.

Gaffney responded with a 47-yard touchdown run from Tyler Smith.

The Rebels, however, kept coming. On the next possession, Byrnes marched down the field and quarterback Lawrence Scott connected with Braylin Johnson for the first of three touchdowns between the two, this one from nine yards out.

The Rebels again opted for a 2-point conversion. This time, Kris Byrd pounded it in to give Byrnes the 16-7 lead.

Gaffney kicker A.J. Hames kicked a 26-yard field goal on the Indians’ next possession. Three plays later, Scott connected with Johnson again, this time from 11 yards out, to put Byrnes up 23-10.

The Byrnes defense stepped up and held the Indians offense, and this time it was Harris’ turn. The big running back barreled his way down the field on the first play from scrimmage for a 75-yard touchdown run to put Burns up 30-10.

Gaffney, however, got on the board before the end of the half. Kelvin Kirby rushed for a 1-yard touchdown to put the Indians in the end zone again and make it 30-17.

Gaffney (3-2, 1-1), ranked No. 4 in Class 5A, looked as though it might grab the momentum in the second half. The Indians defense held on the first two possessions and then Kirby rushed for his second touchdown of the game with 4:06 left in the third quarter to cut the gap to one score.

That’s when Johnson made another big play. On a designed post, Johnson surged past his defender and Scott released the ball. The result was a 45-yard touchdown.

“I knew that we had to step up and make a big-time play,” Johnson said. “I just went out their and executed.”

He wasn’t the only one. The Rebel offensive line wore down the Gaffney defense. Harris rushed for three fourth-quarter touchdowns. The Indians got one on an Undre Lindsay run, but the Gaffney line took over.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the offensive line,” Byrnes coach Reggie Shaw said. “They just pounded against a really good defense.”

The Rebels dominated the fourth quarter.

“It’s our total program concept,” Shaw said. “We say we’re built for this. We’re built for four quarters.”

And Gaffney coach Dan Jones knows that all too well. He knows you have to take advantage of the chances you have and the Indians didn’t do that on Friday, he said.

Gaffney had 460 yards of total offense, but couldn’t take advantage with points.

“We got down in the red zone a couple of times and didn’t score,” Jones said. “Against Byrnes, if you get down there, you better find a way to get points. They’re a very good football team and you can’t give them things.”

Gaffney will play at Hillcrest on Friday at 7:30. Byrnes will host Riverside at 7:30 p.m.

By Joey Millwood – This article originally appeared in the Sept. 28 edition of the Herald-Journal Facts:

Facts:  3 in a row over the Indians, Rebs now have the all-time record over Gaffney at 18 wins / 17 losses, and it was the most points scored by the Rebs at the Reservation Great job Rebels!

By | 2019-09-30T03:24:51+00:00 September 30th, 2019|Football|Comments Off on Rebels dominate Indians 57-30; Take overall lead in the series

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