Rebels start fast in victory at West Carroll

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QUARTER BACK GAINS YARDS – McKenzie Rebel #14 Tate Surber fakes a hand off to #17 Owen Walker to run the ball. McKenzie Rebels won the game 51-0 over the West Carroll War Eagles. Photo by Ray Nanney.

McKenzie made quick work of West Carroll Thursday night, rolling to a 44-0 lead in the first half and finishing the War Eagles by a 51-0 count.

The Rebels scored 44 points and rolled up 211 yards in just 12 plays in the first half. It was a different look for the Rebels, who had churned up rushing yardage in the past few weeks. This week, the Rebels went top side. McKenzie quarterback Jackson Cassidy was 7-7 for 130 yards with four TDs. He also scrambled out of trouble 49 yards for a touchdown. Zach Aird caught two TD passes and booted seven extra points to lead the Rebels. Marquez Taylor, who had 8 carries for 222 yards last week, had a quiet night this week, but did score on a 24-yard TD reception and on a 7-yard rush. For the game, he carried three times for 21 yards.

Meanwhile, McKenzie’s defense were stifling in the first half, limiting West Carroll to minus 13 yards on 18 total snaps. The officials ran the clock in the second quarter and for the entire second half.

For the game, McKenzie snapped the ball 31 times for 276 yards. West Carroll snapped the ball for 28 times for minus 5 rushing.

McKenzie started fast against the War Eagles, needing just three plays and 42 seconds to ring the bell. Cassidy completed a 19-yard pass to Zay Webber, followed by a 27-yard heave to Aird, which allowed Taylor, on the third play, to cover the 7 yards for the score.

The Rebels blocked a punt on West Carroll’s ensuing possession and had a short field to work with. With the ball on the 19, Cassidy found Aird for a 19-yard TD pass with 8:42 to play. The Rebels led 14-0. West Carroll had another punt blocked, setting McKenzie up on the War Eagle 22. From there, Cassidy hit Taylor for the score and a 21-0 lead with 5:42 to play.

During McKenzie’s next possession, a fumble, followed by a personal foul backed McKenzie up to the West Carroll 49. It appeared West Carroll had caught a break. However, on the next play, Cassidy was under pressure and forced to scramble. He broke free and covered the distance for the score. With 2:26 to play in the first, McKenzie led 28-0. The avalanche continued. McKenzie forced a safety on West Carroll’s next possession with :41 remaining in the first. McKenzie led 30-0.

Etijay Tharp returned the free kick 57 yards to the 22. After Taylor was stuffed for a 2-yard loss, Cassidy hit Rashad McCreary for a 24-yard TD aerial at the 11:30 mark of the second frame. McKenzie was in command, 37-0.

Field position continued to plague West Carroll. After three plays that resulted in -7 yards, the War Eagles were forced to punt. The Rebels took over on the West Carroll 35. Taylor sprinted for 16, then Cassidy located Aird for a 19-yard TD pass with 7:47 to play in the second. McKenzie led 44-0. That’s how the half ended.

McKenzie’s Landon Brown intercepted a pass during West Carroll’s second-half drive and the Rebels were in business again. Six plays into the drive, sophomore quarterback Tate Surber hit Stafford Roditis for a 12-yard TD. McKenzie led 51-0 with 6:45 to play in the third. That’s how it ended.

McKenzie, 6-0, will prepare for a big Region 6A showdown with Dresden next week while the War Eagles fall to 4-2 on the season. The winner of the McKenzie-Dresden game will most likely determine the Region 6A championship.

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