Keeping it interesting until the final minutes

Published 11:42 pm Friday, September 22, 2017

Rebels come back from deficit, but ultimately fall

WELLS — The United South Central football team was unable to finish off the homecoming comeback against St. Clair Friday night.

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Despite rallying from 16-point deficit to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, the Rebels fell to the Cyclones, 30-26.

The Cyclones got the scoring started on their first possession of the game. The score came on a three-yard run by senior running back Mason Stenzel. After a successful two-point conversion, St. Clair led United South Central 8-0.

The Cyclones would open up their lead even more at the start of the second quarter. They scored their second touchdown on a 10-yard pass from quarterback Dylan Schons to receiver Aaron Drummer.

The Rebels would finally get on the board midway through the second quarter. A five-yard run from junior quarterback Derek Christiansen narrowed the deficit to 16-6, with just under six minutes remaining in the first half.

With under one minute left in the half, United South Central gave up a 22-yard pass to Drummer, allowing St. Clair to take a 22-6 lead to halftime.

United South Central sophomore A.J. Kloos wraps up the ball carrier for the tackle in Friday night’s 30-26 loss to St. Clair. – Tyler Julson/Albert Lea Tribune

Coming out of the halftime break, the Rebels needed a big play to shift the momentum — and a big play is exactly what they got. On the second play of the half, Zach Niebuhr rushed for a 54-yard touchdown. After a two-point conversion, the Rebels trailed 22-14.

Just two possessions later, United South Central would score on another long rush; this time from a 65-yard run from junior running back Roel Perales. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Rebels had cut the deficit to just two points, 22-20.

Niebuhr provided yet another huge spark of momentum to start the fourth quarter, this time on the defensive side of the ball. Niebuhr intercepted a high lofty pass thrown by St. Clair and returned it for a touchdown to give the Rebels their first lead of the game. With just over 10 minutes remaining, the Rebels now led 26-22.

The Cyclones, however, would march the ball back down the field on the ensuing possession and score on a short rush to take the lead back, 30-26, with seven minutes left in the game.

United South Central’s next possession would end on a turnover on downs, and St. Clair would get the ball back with under three minutes left in the half, where they would hold the ball for the rest of the game.

The Rebels drop to 2-2 on the season, and will be back on the road Friday when they take on the Chargers of Minnesota Valley Lutheran.

About Tyler Julson

Tyler Julson covers sports for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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