By Brandon Carter | Byrnes Contributor
In a shootout between two offenses that were clicking, the #2 seeded Byrnes Rebels held on to defeat the Nation Ford Falcons 48-34.
The Rebels struck first with 9:22 left in the first quarter , when senior quarterback Lawrence Scott connected with one of his favorite targets, senior wide receiver Braylin Johnson, for a 10-yard touchdown.
The Rebels then doubled up three minutes later, after senior running back Rahjai Harris out ran the defense for a 37-yard rushing touchdown.
But then it started to get interesting, when Nation Ford scored on the first play of the ensuing drive on a huge 77-yard passing score.
From then on, it became a shootout, reminiscent of Big 12 Football, that saw both passing offenses light up the scoreboard, connecting on big passing play after big passing play.
Between 6:42 and 2:31 of the first quarter, 42 points were put on the board, with explosive passing plays being at the center of the flurry of points.
And after the first quarter, the teams scored a combined 49 points, with the Rebels leading 35-14.
“I thought we came out attacking on the ground and in the air” Byrnes Head Coach Reggie Shaw said. “We were executing well and playing fast to start the game”
The Rebels then added two more scores and seemed to have control of the game going into the locker rooms at halftime, up 48-21.
But in the 2nd half, the Rebels came out flat and didn’t put up a single point, and allowed Nation Ford to creep back into the game and cut the Byrnes lead to 14 with 7:02 left in the game.
With a 3:15 left in the fourth quarter, The Falcons got the ball back, down two touchdowns, looking to pull off the comeback, but the Rebels’ defense stepped up and got a huge stop to end the game, with the final score being 48-34.
With the victory, the Rebels improved to 10-1 on the season and moved on to the next round of the playoffs, while Nation Ford fell to 6-5 and were sent home.
This game was actually the first time Byrnes was outgained all year, as Nation Ford totaled 472 yards of offense, while the Rebels only had 463. Even in their loss to Dorman, Byrnes still outgained the Cavaliers by over 100 yards.
“Going forward in the playoffs, we have to defend the pass better and get our backups ready to play at a higher level” Shaw said.
The Rebels had 318 yards of total offense in just the first half alone, so to muster up just 145 yards of offense in the remaining three quarters has to be disappointing for the Rebels.
Next week, the Rebels are on the road, as they travel to face the #1 seeded Laurens Raiders in the second round of the 5A playoffs.
Laurens is 9-1 on the season and went undefeated in their region at 7-0, and thus earned the Region I-5A title. However, in the opening round of the playoffs, they barely survived their game against Blythewood, an at-large team, escaping with a narrow 43-40 victory.
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