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This time, the hits are for real.
The Owen County Rebels have spent the last two weekends playing scrimmages against Walton-Verona and Pendleton County.
On Saturday night in Dry Ridge, the game and the final score will count.
For the second straight season, the Rebels open the season against Grant County on the road. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
Last season, the Braves scored a touchdown in the closing minutes to win the game and send the Rebels home with a bad taste in their mouth. Owen County is hoping for a better outcome this time around.
Owen County High School Head Football Coach Adam Fowler and several players said they are looking forward to going back to Grant Count following what happened a season ago.
Fowler said last year’s contest has cost him some sleep over the last year.
It appeared the 2009 match-up was headed to overtime when the Rebels scored in the fourth quarter to tie the score at 10-10.
Owen County was poised to get the football back late in regulation before the Braves converted on a fake punt and then a long pass for a touchdown to take the 17-10 lead and eventually the win.
Fowler said he expects a close game Saturday night.
“Luckily, we are healthy and ready to go,” Fowler said.
The Rebels finished last season 3-8. Their season ended with a loss to Covington Holy Cross in the first round of the playoffs.