By Brandon Carter | Byrnes Contributor
In what was a highly anticipated region opener for both the Byrnes Rebels and Spartanburg Vikings, the Rebels supported their lofty rankings by going out and beating the Vikings 41-3 on Friday night at Nixon Field.
However, Spartanburg managed to keep the game close for the first half, as the Rebels went to halftime with a slim 10-3 advantage. Many Rebels fans were left a little nervous at the half, but once the team came out of the locker room for the second half, they had a different aura about them.
The Rebels came out swinging in the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run from senior running back Rahjai Harris early in the third quarter. Then the Rebels really gained the momentum on the ensuing possession by the Vikings, when the Spartanburg quarterback threw an interception to senior safety and recent Shrine Bowl selection, Buddy Mack, who then took the interception back for a touchdown.
“The interception was really a high point in the game for us,” Mack said. “Coach Cross put us in man coverage and blitzed the linebackers to get pressure on the quarterback. The quarterback tried to get the ball out quick with the pressure coming and he threw it straight to me and I got the pick. Then of course, with a few good blocks from the defensive guys, I got into the endzone.”
Two minutes later, the Rebels got the ball back and senior quarterback Lawrence Scott took advantage by throwing a 35-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Kris Byrd. At that point, the Rebels had scored 21 unanswered points, making the score 31-3.
“We weren’t playing Byrnes football in the first half” Byrnes Head Coach Reggie Shaw said. “I told the guy to settle down and stop beating yourselves. We just need to fix the little things and execute, and then the results will come.”
And the results surely did come, as the Rebels won the game 41-3, extending their winning streak to four.
The offense put up 417 yards of total offense, and the backfield tandem of Scott and Harris combining for 240 yards on the ground on just 25 combined carriers. Harris added two rushing scores, including an impressive 28-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter, while Scott threw two touchdowns of his own.
The defense continued their dominance, allowing only three points and 165 yards of total offense. The defense also forced three turnovers, with interceptions coming from senior cornerback Nijae Crouch, senior safety Buddy Mack, and sophomore cornerback Jy Martin. Through the 16 quarters the Rebels have played, the defense has only allowed an impressive 16 points.
Byrnes now sits at 4-0 on the season with a big region win to start region play. Spartanburg now sits at 1-3 on the season.
Next week, the Rebels travel up to Gaffney for huge rivalry game between two of the best teams the state of South Carolina has to offer. The game could be a big deciding factor in the race for the region title. Kickoff is set for 7:30 on Friday, September 28th at The Reservation.
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