The week started off bad; really bad. On the Sunday before the first round of the state playoffs the kids at Chambers Academy suffered a great loss. Austin Sanders, a former classmate of many of the senior players and a friend to countless others was killed in a horrible accident.
Many wondered if anyone would even be able to think about a football game after such a significant loss. As the week wore on it became apparent that even though these boys were grieving a huge loss they were determined to not only play a football game on Friday but they were going to WIN a football game on Friday for Austin.
Minutes before kickoff the senior class, football players, friends and family met at the center of the football field. Each held a blue balloon with a note attached; a note for Austin. As each balloon was set free the boys became more serious about the task at hand; beating Southern Academy in the first round of the state playoffs. That is exactly what they did by a margin of 62-14 in an attack like spectators hadn’t seen all season.
Malik Lyons led the attack on offense with 2 touchdowns; racking up 130 yards on 7 carries. C.J. Lyons, Matthew Keebler, Jordan Gillespie and Kaine Thomas also scored a touchdown each. Payton Allen was also successful on field goal attempts for extra points.
On defense Dalton Thrower led with 8 tackles, a fumble recovery and a sack. Mateo Valdez and Hayden Thompson each had 5 tackles and Trent Dodgen and Braxton Allen each had 4.
Head Coach Jason Allen was excited following the first round win. “This was a great win for our team as we won the game and everyone got to play. I thought our guys came out excited and played well from the onset. It was one of the better performances of the year and I think we are playing our best ball at just the right time.
We turned up the heat on Southern early and the game was pretty much over after the 1st quarter. We were able to cruise from there on out. It’s been a tough week for our guys with the tragedy this week and I was proud of how they were able to get something good to happen this week and experience some joy. Our seniors stood up and led our team through this adversity”.
The win on Friday against Southern sends the Rebels on to the second round of play. The Rebels will face the Lowndes Rebels again for the second time this season on Torbert Field. The first meeting against Lowndes this season ended in an impressive Chambers’ 77-48 win, however, it was a tough fought as CA was behind going into the second half.
The road to Troy continues this Friday for the Rebels on Torbert Field with kick off set for 7:00 cst. Make plans to come support the CA Rebels in this semi-final competition.