Rebels’ dynamic duo leading the way

Published 11:40 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

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Chambers Academy’s running back duo of Luke Tarver and Jacob Norgard has helped to propel the Rebels to dominant wins in their last two games. 

Through three games, Tarver currently leads the Rebels in rushing with 411 yards and five touchdowns. Norgard is just behind him with 303 yards and three touchdowns. Who do the two players credit for the early success of the ground game? They give all of that credit to their offensive line. 

“Probably just us buying in and trusting our offensive line,” Norgard said. “They’re doing a great job this year,” Tarver said. “They’ve always shown out for us.” 

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Tarver is more of the down hill, power back. Norgard is slender and relies more on his speed. The two are very competitive, and they try to beat each other at their own game. 

“I try to outrun him,” Tarver said. “I try to run more physical,” Norgard said. 

Despite the early success, Tarver and Norgard are not resting on their laurels. They both know that there are still improvements to be made to their games. 

“I’ve got to be able to read the field better,” Norgard said. “That’s really my goal.” 

“Ball security for me,” Tarver said. “I’ve had a few fumbles this year, and I should never let the ball hit the ground after the offensive line has worked so hard for us.” 

At Chambers Academy, most players have to play on both sides of the ball. In the first two games, Tarver had 12 tackles. 

“I’d rather play more offense,” Tarver said. “If we shut them out on defense, we get the chance to score. That’s our goal.” 

Both Tarver and Norgard have the same goal for this season, and that goal is for Chambers Academy to win the state championship. That goal has been mirrored by Head Coach Jason Allen. The two stars credit their coach for making them better on and off the field. 

“He’s really just taught us not to be selfish,” Norgard said. “It’s all about who’s doing the job that night,” Tarver said. 

The next two games on Chambers Academy’s schedule is going to be a major test for how far the Rebels can go. Chambers Academy faces an undefeated Crenshaw Christian team this week, and then they face the seventh ranked team in Banks Academy next week. Tarver and Norgard think their team has the most physical defense in the AISA, and teams should come prepared for that challenge. 

“We’re going to play fast and physical no matter what,” Norgard said. “We’re not going to be a pushover,” Tarver. “We’re always just going to come and do everything we can to win.” 

Allen has been thrilled with the output that he’s seen from his dynamic duo. He believes that the two have become interchangeable. 

Even though they will face some of the toughest teams in the AISA this season, the duo is not looking to just win. Tarver and Norgard want to dominate each team they face. 

“We want teams to fear us,” Norgard said. 

“It’s awesome to have two guys that can run the football like that because when one goes out, we don’t lose any production at that position,” Allen said. “They run with their hair on fire.” 

Allen said that both Tarver and Norgard have improved their patience with the ball in their hands, and both have become extremely difficult to tackle. 

Norgard and Tarver have set their team goals first, but they each have statistical goals that they want to achieve this season. Tarver reached 1000 yards last season, and he looks to build on that. 

“Luke had 1000 yards last year, so I want to pass him this year and get in the double digits for touchdowns this year,” Norgard said. 

Their competitiveness may be at the forefront, but both Tarver and Norgard are always there to pick each other up when needed. 

“We do run the ball a lot,” Tarver said. “We get tired, and we just keep telling each other you got it, you got it. Sometimes he’ll go in at quarterback and we’ll be out there together. We’re really behind each other.”