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It started with a bang.
Fans had not yet settled into their seats when Grant County kicked off to Owen County to begin Friday night’s game in Dry Ridge. Matt Harris took the kickoff and raced 80 yards to the end zone for a Rebels touchdown. According to Harris, “There was just a seam right up the middle and we busted it.” The extra point was blocked but after 15 seconds of action, Owen County had a 6-0 lead.
The Braves put together a drive on their opening possession but a missed field goal gave the ball back to the Rebels. Owen County was not able to do anything on offense on their next drive and was forced to punt.
Grant County took over at the Rebels’ 43-yard line. The Braves promptly fumbled the football and the Rebels were there to jump on it. The Rebels were forced to punt giving the ball back to the Braves to begin the second quarter.
The ensuing drive saw Grant County drive the ball all the way to the Rebels’ 8-yard line to set up first and goal. The Owen County defense stiffened and held Grant County to a field goal that cut the lead to 6-3 with 8:01 left in the first half.
Another good kickoff return set the Rebels up with good field position to start their next drive. The Rebels had a chance for a big play on the drive but Jordan Cox overthrew Zach McDonald inside the 10-yard line. On the next play, the Braves stopped the Rebels on fourth down.
The Braves took advantage as they drove to the goal line before Joe Soden scored on a quarterback sneak. After the extra point, the Braves led 10-6 with 3:20 to play in the half.
Again Grant County forced Owen County to punt. It looked like the Rebels had averted disaster when punter Justin Davis avoided the oncoming rush to get off the punt, giving the Braves the ball back just 43 yards away with 1:51 to play in the first half. The Braves were able to put some plays together and Soden found a receiver in the end zone to give Grant County a 16-6 lead at the end of the first half.
Midway through the third quarter, the Braves scored from 1-yard out to take a 23-6 lead. The Braves closed out the third quarter with another score when Soden again ran a quarterback keeper to give the Braves a 30-6 lead heading into the final twelve minutes.
Give the Rebels credit in the fourth quarter. On a night when it would have been easy for the visitors to go through the motions in the final quarter, they did anything but.
The Rebels put together a solid drive to begin the finalquarter but were unable to convert on fourth down giving it back to Grant County. The defense then forced a Braves’ punt giving the ball back to the offense at the Grant County 40-yard line.
Thanks to a couple of Grant County penalties, the Rebels had first down at the 19-yard line. Two plays later, Cox found Shaun Guillon in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown pass. The 2-point conversion failed but the Rebels had cut the lead to 30-12.
Owen County then attempted an onside kick and were able to come up with the ball. It looked like Owen County would score as they drove to the Braves’ 1-yard line. After a sack of Cox, the Rebels looked to attempt a field goal. Instead of kicking the ball, Owen County ran the fake which fell incomplete.
The Rebels were able to score one more time. With less than a minute to play, Cox connected with Matt Harris on a 70-yard touchdown pass to make the final margin 30-18.
Following the game, Head Coach Adam Fowler was pleased with his team’s effort. The coach said he was excited by the kickoff return to begin the game. “We practice that everyday.”
Fowler also had high praise for Cox’s play in the game. “Jordan grew up tonight. When he stood in the pocket he looked good.”
He said he was also pleased with the defensive play of Tyler Pruitt.
The Rebels will be back in action next week when they travel to Louisville to take on district foe DeSales. The Colts are 1-2 on the season and are coming off a bye on Friday night.
In other district action over the weekend, Carroll County (2-1) defeated Walton-Verona on Saturday 33-3. The Panthers will square off Friday night with Christian Academy-Louisville who did not play last week.