Rebels claim final regular season game
The Chambers Academy Rebels battled for most of their game at Crenshaw Academy, but they pulled away in the second half to win 44-22 on the road.
“I told coach [Dillon] NeSmith that this is a big game for us from a momentum standpoint,” head coach Jason Allen said. “We had one hiccup this year, and we need to make sure that was a blip on the radar. We need to go into the playoffs with a lot of confidence. This game matters because you line up every Friday. That competitor in you wants to win. I’m really excited where our team is sitting from a momentum standpoint heading into the playoffs. Now, it’s a three-game season.”
The difference-maker in the game was junior running back Jordan Benbrook. Benbrook has been the Rebels workhorse all year, and he showed why on Friday, as he finished with more than 200 yards on the ground.
“He’s really come on as a back,” Allen said. “He reminds you of Jerome Bettis. I told coach we need to start calling him the Fridge. He’s just a physical, downhill back. He’s got his pad level down. He just does a great job breaking tackles. People have a hard time bringing him to the ground, and that was the case tonight. He had a lot of YAC yards.”
Once the Rebels were able to take control of the game in the second half, they were able to go back to Benbrook time and time again, as the junior continued to eat up chunks of yards at a time.
Payton Allen finished with more than 100 yards on the ground as well on Friday.
The Rebels started the game on defense and forced a fumble at their own 25-yard line. They drove down the field and scored, jumping ahead 8-0 early in the quarter. Their lead was short-lived as the Cougars marched downfield, capping off the 75-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown run.
The Rebels answered with a Payton Allen passing touchdown. The senior was able to find his receiver as he avoided the rush, giving the Rebels a six-point lead.
Benbrook extended the lead as he was able to break a couple of tackles for a 16-yard touchdown.
“Jordan Benbrook had a really good game running the ball,” Allen said. “We were able to use our speed and our quick passing game early to jump ahead to a good start.”
Later in the second quarter, the Rebels tried to fake a punt but were unable to pick up the first down. The failed fake gave the Cougars momentum, which carried them into the end zone for a touchdown.
The Cougars had a chance to take the lead at the end of the first half, as they got to the Rebels six-yard line, but the game clock hit zero before they were able to get into the end zone, putting Chambers ahead 20-15 at the half.
The Rebels took over in the second half, as they returned the opening kickoff down to the Cougars 22-yard line, setting up a Benbrook touchdown.
Benbrook scored again shortly after, as the Cougars fumbled inside their own 30-yard line after the ensuing kickoff.
What was a five-point lead at the half had extended to 21 early through the third quarter.
Payton Allen added a rushing touchdown late in the game, running for more than 60 yards on the score.
The Rebels will host Autauga Academy in the first round of the AISA AA playoffs on Friday.