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No. 1-ranked Rebels top Chester County 49-28

Chester County rolled up over 400 yards off offense in its 35-34 track meet against Fayette Ware last week.

McKenzie had the unenviable task of slowing that juggernaut down Friday night.

Much like the Rebels did last week, they surged to a big early lead and held on for a 49-21 victory over the visiting Eagles.

McKenzie enjoyed a great nigh offensively, for the most part, but there were a few hiccups on the offensive side of the ball and breakdowns on the defensive side as well. Chester County mounted 356 total yards of offense, most of that coming of Eagle running back Judiaz Prather’s 30-for-207 night.

Setting the tone early was important against a potent Chester County offense because the Rebels forced them to chase the remainder of the night. McKenzie senior Marquez Taylor carried 15 times for 199 yards and scored on runs of 2, 6, 78 and 80 yards.  Colt Norden had a 62-yard TD run in the first quarter. Senior quarterback Jackson Cassidy had a big night as well. He was 8-16 passing for 172 yards with at TD pass. He also had a 42-yard touchdown run.

Chester County won the toss and elected to go on offense, but were stoned by the McKenzie defense, who forced a three-and out. From there, McKenzie needed only 90 seconds to get in the end zone. The Rebels needed four plays to cover 52 yards when Taylor tiptoed into from the 2 at the 9:36 mark. Zach Aird converted the first of seven extra points and the Rebels were on top 7-0.

The Rebels needed just 2:20 to cover 94 yards, much of it on Norden’s 62-yard scoring spring down the right side with 2:06 to play in the first. The Rebels were seemingly in control 14-0. That’s how the first quarter ended.

The Rebels marched down inside the Chester County 10 but lost the ball on a fumble to start the second frame. Two plays into the Eagle drive, Prather raced 78 yards to help set up their first score, a 1-yard burst from Chad Barham with 6:59 remaining in the second. The Rebels lead was cut in half, 14-7.

But like it had most of the night, McKenzie responded promptly. Taylor darted 78 yards on the first play of the next drive and the Rebels were back up 21-7. With 6:00 to play, McKenzie’s David Chaney picked off a pass, which set up McKenzie’s next score, a 6-yard score from Taylor with 4:07 to play in the half. The Rebels took a 28-7 lead into the locker room at the break.

The Rebels took the football to start the second half and needed only three plays when Cassidy found Norden for a 70-yard strike with 10:24 to play in the third. McKenzie led 35-7. But Chester County simply wouldn’t go away.

Chester County methodically moved down the field during its next possesion and scored when Prather breached the goal line from the 1 with 5:16 to go. Chester County trailed 35-14. Once again, McKenzie bounced right back, this time, 14 seconds later with Taylor’s 80-yard burst. McKenzie led 42-14 with 5:02 remaining in the fourth.

Chester County kept coming. Schippers hit Barham with a 59-yard TD aerial with 3:07 to play in the third to cut into the Rebel lead, 42-21. That’s how the third ended.

The fourth began when Cassidy rocketed 42 yards on the first play of the fourth quarter to give the Rebels a 49-21 advantage. It seemed the Rebels had salted it away when Taylor intercepted a Chester County pass at the 4. But the Eagles forced a punt. Chester County had good field position, and converted a fourth-down play when Schippers hit Pipkin with an 18-yard TD pass with 3:41 to play. McKenzie led 49-28.

The Rebels, playing with  mostly reserves, drove down to the Eagle 6 with under a minute to play. Quarterback Tate Surber took two knees in the victory formation and the Rebels improved to 2-0.

Norden had two catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. Zay Webber had four catches for 85 to lead the Rebels. Chaney had five total tackles to go with his interception.

Chester County, 1-1, hosts Chester County next Friday night while the Rebels entertain South Fulton for homecoming.

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