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Rebels fall to 0-5 with Sparta loss

Chambers back Cord Dodgen is taken down by a tandem of Sparta defenders in the Rebels Friday night loss. (Photo: Jody Stewart)

The painful 2012 season continued on Friday night for the Chambers Rebels here in LaFayette. In a battle of winless teams, the Rebels put one more mark in the loss column with after a 48-6 defeat at the hands of visiting Sparta Academy (1-4). It’s the Rebels fifth loss this year, and the fifth time they have allowed an opponent to score more than 40 points.

“I saw some improvement,” CA Coach Shenan Motley said. “We didn’t go backward, but we’ve still got a long way to go.” Motley says he has obviously been disappointed with several aspects of the Rebels performances so far, but was especially frustrated that mistakes on offense keep killing drives. “It’s almost like we are snake-bit,” he said. “We get yardage, move the ball, then fumble or get a penalty or something else goes wrong.”

Something went wrong pretty quickly on Friday night and the Rebels never recovered. On their first offensive play, CA fumbled and the Wildcats recovered the ball and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown, just seconds into the game, to take a 7-0 lead. They would never give it up.

Fighting to avoid the shutout, the Rebels finally got on the board with 3:55 to play in the game. Sophomore Jared Walker took several snaps under center on Friday night, and he threw his first career touchdown pass to Jay Tinsley for the Rebels only points. Walker’s pass to Tinsley was 28 yards and was the culmination of a six-play, 45-yard drive.

Walker completed four of his six pass attempts in the game for 37 yards and the touchdown; he had one rush for 11 yards.

For the majority of the night, Russ Whaley ran the CA offense. He threw for 107 yards, completing 13-of-26 passes and rushed 10 times for a team-high 80 yards.

Quadarious Tinsley was his favorite target of the night, catching six passes for 58 yards. Jay Tinsley caught four passes for 39 yards and a touchdown. Zach Yarbrough and Cord Dodgen each caught two passes, with Yarbrough finishing with 17 yards and Dodgen collecting 15.

Corey Bolt led the CA defensive unit with seven tackles. Zac Slay and Yarbrough each finished with six tackles and Whaley had five. Taylor had four tackles for the Rebels.

Now the Rebels (0-5; 0-2) are preparing for their homecoming game this week and Motley is trying to keep his team motivated and focused after what has been a disappointing first half of the season.

“We keep reminding them that we are a young team and guys haven’t played that much,” he says. “We are in a learning stage, trying to build a program. These games are about experience, so that we can keep getting better. We’re developing; it’s just been a slow process. These guys want to win, they want to get better.”

At homecoming on Friday night, the Rebels will again try to get their first win, this time against region foe Cornerstone Christian (3-2; 1-2). The Chargers, who are coming off a 20-19 loss to Ashford last week, will come into the game hoping to keep their playoff hopes alive. Chambers will try to play spoiler and give themselves a much needed confidence boost.

Motley knows his team can be competitive, but says that they must play a complete game. “We haven’t played a full game as a team yet,” he says. “We play eight minutes or maybe a quarter, but that’s it. I think we can play with anyone if we play for four quarters, but I haven’t seen it yet.”

The homecoming crowd is hoping to see four quarters of good football on Friday night. Kickoff is at 7 pm CST and homecoming ceremonies will take place at halftime.

*For full story see print edition.