COUNTRY CLUB HILLS | T.F. South’s offense scored early and often against Hillcrest but the defense stole the show Friday night as it held the Hawks to 10 yards of total offense in the first half.
Robert Travis got the Rebels on the board early taking a sweep around left end 30 yards for the opening score midway through the first quarter.
After that it was all defense until the final minute of the second quarter when South's Jariel Brooks went in from the two yard line.
For the half, T.F. South (2-2, 1-1) held the Hawks to just three first downs, two of which came via penalty.
“We made some adjustments on the defensive line this week,” T. F. South defensive coordinator Bob Padjen said. “We moved Fred Taylor from end and Raphael Canty from linebacker to the tackle spots to get more size up front, Fred’s 6’5” and hard to throw over.”
Taylor responded leading the defense with two sacks, and the rest of the line kept the Hawks (0-4, 0-2) from getting anything started for three quarters.
Despite the domination from the defense, the Rebels only led 14-0 at the break as eight first half penalties kept T.F. South from getting into a rhythm on offense.
“We have to eliminate our mistakes,” Coach Tom Padjen said. “This is still a work in progress, we didn’t finish last week and gave one away, we talked all week about finishing and giving a good effort for 48 minutes.”
The Rebels must have listened, as they came out in the second half and got 3 scores in a six minute span in the third quarter.
Efe Ovie started things off, hauling in a 54 yard touchdown pass from Cody Petrich
“I saw the corner bite and just had to get rid of it quick,” Petrich said. “He was wide open and it was just pitch and catch at that point.”
Trenton Gilbert was up next for the Rebels, scoring from the four and JaVaughn Hunter closed out the quarter for the Rebels with a 52-yard touchdown run.
Hunter finished with a game high 117 yards on 12 carries to go along with his score.
“I just worked hard. Cody (Petrich) kept encouraging me all week,” Hunter said. “He told me if you play hard every play it would come. I just did what he said. I had a cut back lane and just ran hard until I hit the goal line.”
Hillcrest got on the board in the fourth quarter after Padjen started rotating in his bench players, but even then the Rebels were able to find the end zone, as Tylon Dantzler broke through the line on a 52-yard run to close out the scoring.