Chambers Academy continues dominance

Published 12:23 am Saturday, September 23, 2023

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By Wayne Clark 

LaFAYETTE — The Chambers Academy Rebels improved to 5-1 on the season with a 45-10 win over Bessemer Academy Friday evening at Torbert-Allen Field.

Chambers built up a 38-3 halftime lead before coasting home in the second half with a dominating win. The Rebels rolled up more than 200 yards on the ground in that first half to notch their fifth straight win following a season-opening 14-6 loss to defending state champion Lee-Scott.

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Luke Tarver led the Chambers rushing attack with 133 yards on ten carries. He had two touchdown runs and scored on two two-point conversion tries. Jacob Norgard ran the ball eight times for 82 yards, had two TD runs and a two-point conversion run. Kole Baker was six for six passing the ball for 180 yards and two TDs. Favorite receiver Koreem Henry caught five of those passes for 158 yards.

Eli Whorton led the way on defense with seven tackles. Drew Sheppard, Luke Tarver, T.J. Daniels and Parker Otto each had four stops.

“We are playing really well right now,” said head coach Jason Allen. “I was really pleased with what our guys did tonight. I’m also pleased with the fan support we are getting. We had a fantastic home crowd tonight. It means a lot when the home folks get behind us like they do.”

Norgard returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back on a holding penalty. Undaunted, Chambers scored on the first play from scrimmage as Koreem Henry took a short pass from quarterback Kole Baker and was off to the races along the home sideline. He ran 90 yards to give the Rebels a very fast 6-0 lead. The conversion failed, leaving the score unchanged at the 11:31 mark of the opening period.

Bessemer started a short drive after returning the ball to midfield. They moved it inside the Chambers 30 before the drive stalled. They opted for a field goal, and John Terry boomed it through from 44 yards out to put the visitors on the board. With 6:06 left in the opening period the Chambers lead was cut to 6-3.

The Rebels extended their lead late in the period. They drove the ball 70 yards to take a 12-3 led on a 21-yard run by Norgard. Tarver ran in the two-point play to make the score  14-3 in favor of Chambers with 1:25 left in the first quarter.

Bessemer got a break when they recovered a fumbled punt at the Chambers 34, but the Rebel defense held firm, giving the ball back to the offense at the same spot on the field. Back on offense, Chambers drove the ball 66 yards to go up by 19 points. A Baker-to-Henry pass was a big gainer and runs by Tarver and Norgard moved it deep into Bessemer territory. Norgard capped off the drive with a 13-yard scoring run, running over a defender near the goal line and diving headlong into the end zone to make the score 20-3. The Rebels tacked on two more points on the conversion as Tarver powered into the end zone off the right side of the line. With 8:57 left before halftime, the Chambers lead now stood at 22-3.

Aided by a pass interference penalty, Bessemer drove the ball deep in Chambers territory before the Rebels kept them out of the end zone. On fourth and goal from the 15, a 33-yard field goal attempt was blocked in the line.  Chambers took over on the 20 and very quickly went 80 yards to continue building on its lead. A long run by Tarver on the first play of the series had the ball deep in Bessemer territory. A run by Norgard got it closer, and on first and goal on the four Tarver ran it in off the right side of the line.

On the conversion, the Rebels opted for some trickery with Tarver tossing a halfback option pass to Henry in the left corner of the end zone. It was a pretty play, and it made the score 30-3.

A disastrous kickoff return put Bessemer in a deep hole and a short punt had Chambers in business on its next possession. The Rebels started with a first and ten on the Bessemer 23. It took them one play to score again, this time on a pass from Baker to Henry. It was perfectly executed along the far sideline. Norgard ran in the two-point play to extend the score to 38-3 with 59.1 seconds left in the first half.

The Rebels had one more chance to score before halftime when the visitors fumbled the kickoff. They moved it inside the 20 but time ran out on them before they could add another score before halftime.

With the game out of hand, the officials ran the clock in the second half speeding up the game. Chambers played lots of reserves, and each team scored one touchdown, making the final score 45-10.

“We are off next week,” Coach Allen said. “We will be back home in two weeks with a game against Abbeville Christian. It will be our homecoming, and we will be looking forward to another nice crowd.  We want out fans to know that we really appreciate your support. You give us a fun environment to play in, and that really helps our team.”