The defensive line of Reeltown put up a stand against the Wildcats of Trinity.
To look at the stats of Dee Griffin who finished the night with 15 tackles, two for loss and 11 solo and AJ Ellis who had eight tackles, the scoreboard looked a little disappointing as the Rebels lost 17-14. Head coach Matt Johnson didn’t think the scoreboard reflected his team’s efforts against an extremely talented Trinity team.
“It stinks to look at the scoreboard because you look at how we played on the football field and it just doesn’t go with it,” Johnson said.
Trinity is a larger 3A school with more athletes to work with. Johnson had many of his players such as quarterback Gabe Bryant playing both ways and so did Griffin.
“Dee had a really good game on both sides of the football,” Johnson said. “He is a really good quarterback of the offensive line and he does an extremely good job defensively as well. He is a very explosive and talented player.”
Offensively the Rebels came out a little flat with only 14 yards of offense in the first quarter on the shoulders of running back Juicy Hughley. Things turned around in the second quarter as the Rebels finally crossed midfield with 8:15 left in the second quarter. Hughley found the end zone on the heels of a 14-yard run up the middle on the same drive. Bryant would also find Connor Spain on the left side line. Bryant would out run the Wildcat defense after the catch for a 52-yard touchdown reception.
Trinity was able to shut the Rebels down offensively in the second half. While Reeltown found 163 yards of offensive in the first half, the Rebel offense was only able to push the ball ahead for 41 yards in the second half. Reeltown finished the game with 204 yards of total offense.
“That is an extremely good defense,” Johnson said. “It is one of the fastest as far as overall team speed that we have seen. It was tough sledding in there. I don’t think anybody has scored more than two touchdowns on them all year.
“We had a good plan and executed it well. We just didn’t finish some things in the second half. We missed a couple open receivers but it's a team effort.”
Numbers came into play in the second half as cramps hit a few of the Rebels but the defense held, only allowing one touchdown in the second half.
“Some of the numbers kind of caught up with us at the end of the game,” Johnson said. “When you play as hard as we played with the numbers like that, you kind of expect it.”
Tough football is what Johnson and his coaching staff prepare the Rebels for.
“We want to play extremely physical on both sides of the ball for 48 minutes, that is what we instill in them; that is the type football we want to play,” Johnson said. “We did that and faced a lot of adversity throughout the game and our guys just kept coming back. I’m extremely proud of how they fought and how they continued to come back.”
Trinity would finish the night with 314 yards of offense. But Johnson was proud of the team's effort.
“What they do offensively is so tough,” Johnson said. “They run so many sets, formations, shifts and motion, that you have to be extremely disciplined. To hold them to 17 points, I’m extremely proud of my guys.”