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Heading into Friday night’s first-round playoff game versus Holy Cross, Owen County knew the person they had to stop in order to have a chance at coming away with the victory. As it turned out, stopping Markel Walker was something the Rebels could not do.
Walker had a hand in all five of the Indians’ first-half touchdowns to give Holy Cross a 34-3 lead at halftime. They never looked back.
The Rebels got off to a good start Friday night. The defense held during the Indians’ opening drive, stopping them on fourth-and-short to get the ball back near midfield. The offense then put together a good drive.
On third and goal, Cody McDaniel’s pass to Sawyer Williams was knocked away and the Rebels were forced to settle for a field goal attempt. Justin Davis nailed the 23-yarder to give Owen County a 3-0 lead with 4:16 to play in the first quarter.
It looked like the momentum might stay with Owen County when on the ensuing kickoff Luis Sanchez recovered an onsides kick to give the ball right back to the Rebels. Owen County couldn’t take advantage and was forced to punt the ball back to Holy Cross.
That’s when the Markel Walker show began.
The quarterback connected with Josh Jasper on a 68-yard touchdown pass to give the Indians a 6-3 lead with 1:19 left in the quarter.
On the Rebels’ next drive, Walker intercepted a McDaniel pass to give the ball back to the Indians.
The Indians then drove the ball to the 1-yard line before Walker took the ball into the end zone. The 2-point conversion made the score 14-3 with 9:01 remaining in the first half.
The Rebels’ next drive stalled, leading to a Justin Davis punt. On the kick, the ball deflected off a Holy Cross player and bounced straight into the arms of you-know-who, Walker, who took it 73 yards for a touchdown to put Holy Cross on top 21-3 with 6:25 left in the half.
Unfortunately for the Rebels, the Indians were not finished.
Walker found Jasper again in the end zone, this time from 5-yards out for another score with 58.3 seconds left to put the Indians on top 28-3.
On the Rebels’ final drive of the half, Walker again picked off McDaniel to give the Indians the ball with 30-seconds to play in the half. It proved to be just enough time as Walker scrambled and found Eric Walker for a 1-yard touchdown pass as the halftime buzzer sounded, giving the Indians a 34-3 lead at the break.
The Indians tacked on two more scores in the second half before Derrick Hoop ran the ball into the end zone from 8-yards out to make the final margin 48-10.
The loss meant the Rebels finished the season with a 3-8 record.