LANSING | At times, T.F. South did a good job of containing Tinley Park running back Preston Thompson.
But through sheer attrition, the Titans and Thompson ground down the T.F. South defense.
The Rebels fell 27-18 to Tinley Park in a South Suburban Blue contest Friday night. Thompson finished with 31 carries for 201 yards against the Rebels.
"We knew Tinley with Preston Thompson had a tremendous offense," T.F. South coach Tom Padjen said. "He's a heck of a runner. He took over early in the ball game."
The Rebels allowed Tinley Park to score two touchdowns in the first quarter and were forced to battle from behind the entire night. Rebel running back JaVaughn Hunter found the end zone on a six-yard run in the second quarter to cut the Tinley Park lead to 14-6.
"Now it's a two-game season," Padjen said after the loss. "We have (T.F. North) next, and we can't look past the Meteors."
T.F. South (3-4, 1-3) started the second half with an 11-play, 76-yard drive that was capped by a Cody Petrich 14-yard touchdown run. The drive lasted 5:53 and pulled the Rebels within two midway through the third quarter.
"We mixed it up with Cody and then with some wildcat things with (Torian Lewis)," Padgen said of the second half's opening drive. "We had a good drive, and it looked like we had reestablished things. But things didn't work out for us."
Tinley Park's Thompson answered with third quarter touchdown runs of two yards and 36 yards. In the fourth quarter, Petrich added a one-yard touchdown run for the Rebels, but it was too little, too late. Petrich finished with 180 yards on 12 of 22 passing.
"We just have to play like this is our playoffs now," Petrich said. "We're what, three and four? Five and four is a long shot, but we have to play like that's a definite entry."
T.F. South had an extra point blocked and missed on a two-point conversion in the third quarter. With the conversions, the Rebels would have had a one possession game in the fourth and a chance for a shot at the win or overtime.
"Two-point conversions and the missed extra point down here?" Padgen said. "You just can't have those breakdowns in week seven."