By: Jim Steele
McKENZIE, Tenn. - A pair of 6-1 middle school football teams will square off at Bethel University Tuesday night in the 2011 mckenzierebels.com Bowl.
Bethel Springs, McNairy County runner-up, will face McKenzie, the Carroll County runner-up 7 p.m. Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium. Admission is $5 and gates will open at 6 p.m.
This is the sixth year that Bethel has hosted this event and proceeds raised from this game go to United Neighbors. The McKenzie Rebels are 3-2 in this event and defeated Ridgemont from Obion County last year 29-6. McKenzie enters the game a bit banged up. The Rebels' leading rusher, Chase Norden, who has 56 carries for 565 this years, had his best game of the seaosn against Camden, rushing eight times for 202 yards. But he broke his collarbone on his last run. He will not play. McKenzie has three other starters injured, but they may get two of the three back for the game.
The Bethel Springs Rebels make their first appearance in this post-season event. Their lone loss was to evnetual McNairy County champion Adamsville. This group of Rebels is coached by former Bethel baseball standout Brian Franks, who pitched for the Wildcats in the early 1990s.
All players will be introduced on the field and both cheerleading squads will perform routines at halftime. Concesion stands will be open. There are no advanced ticket sales.
This marks McKenzie's seventh straight bowl game, dating back to the 2005 Hurricane Bowl at Rebel Field, where McKenzie defeated Lexington and proceeds collected benefitted victims of Katrina.