Rebels run comes to an end

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 4, 2007

By Mike Simmons, staff writer

DODGE CENTER &8212; No one expected United South Central to be in the Class 2AA Section 2 final against Triton, especially after finishing the regular season at 1-7. But with a two-game win streak under its belt the Rebels&8217; football team faced off against Triton Friday night in Dodge Center.

While the Rebels became one of only four teams to score on Triton all season, and the only one to score on them in the playoffs, it wasn&8217;t enough to overcome the defending Class 2AA state champion in a 46-14 loss.

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&8220;You know, it was a very good run,&8221; said Rebels head coach Brent Schimek. &8220;I told the kids before the game that this is the time to have a run, its better than winning a conference title, it&8217;s just that this means a lot.&8221;

Coming into the game, USC knew that if it turned the ball over and gave the explosive Triton offense a short field it would be a very long night for the Rebels. But to USC&8217;s, and probably Triton&8217;s surprise, the Rebels played well enough that they trailed just 10-0 after the first quarter despite losing two fumbles and throwing two interceptions.

The second quarter was even closer but after the turnovers in the first the Rebels were hit with the Cobras&8217; big play. Just two minutes into the quarter Triton&8217;s Chace Sackett ran from one sideline to the other breaking five tackles on his way to a 77-yard touchdown and a 17-0 lead.

The Rebels&8217; defense had done the job as it forced the Cobras to punt or forced a turnover on every Triton possession except three. A 29-yard score by Caleb Rissman in the first along with a field goal and Sackett&8217;s 77 yarder in the second.

&8220;We just turned the ball over and we knew we couldn&8217;t do that,&8221; Schimek said. &8220;We played them pretty well in that first quarter and even got a couple of turnovers to go our way. But we didn&8217;t convert on those and that&8217;s what you have to do against a team like this.&8221;

After trailing just 17-0 at the half, USC had to feel pretty good about itself, but that didn&8217;t last long when Triton took the second half kickoff and marched 69 yards in just two plays including a 41-yard run by Rissman for a 24-0 Cobra advantage.

On USC&8217;s following possession it came away with the best drive of the night by either team. The Rebels went on a 13-play drive, kept alive by a fourth down pass interference call, that ended with a 53-yard bomb from sophomore quarterback Riley Swearingen to Tom Voigt for a 24-6 Triton lead.

The Cobras scored three more times twice on runs right up the middle by fullback David Kunz who rushed for 120 yards and two TDs on just two carries. A spectacular 99-yard interception return by Drew Johnson gave Triton a 46-6 lead.

With the fourth quarter coming to a close the Rebels&8217; Swearingen threw his sixth interception of the night, but on Triton&8217;s next play it fumbled the ball right back to USC. From there the Rebels went on a 10-play drive, the last of their season, that ended with just 32 seconds left in the game when Swearingen pushed his way in the end zone from 1-yard out to make the final score 46-14.

&8220;You know what, Riley is going to feel bad today cause he threw some picks,&8221; said Schimek. &8220;But you know what, this is the section final and we were throwing the ball all over today. You might as well go for it and they made some really good plays on the ball so they really weren&8217;t his fault. He really came along at the end of the year and to score a touchdown on the last play of the year that was really good for him.&8221;

With the loss, the Rebels&8217; playoff run comes to an end as they finish 3-8 on the year.