By: Jim Steele
McKenzie scored early and often as the visiting Rebels battled misty rain, cool temps and Gibson County. MHS prevailed 48-6 in Dyer Friday night and did its part to keep post-season aspirations alive.
Unfortunately for MHS, Adamsville didn't hold up its end of the bargain as the Trenton-Peabody Golden Tide rallied to beat the visiting Cardinals 34-20. As a result, the Rebels, at 5-5, will be left out of the playoffs for the first time since 2013. Because of the Week 11 chaos, Union City captured the Region 7AA title and runner up and Peabody will host Memphis-Mitchell. Adamsville tumbles to No. 4 and will visit the Bulldogs of Fairley 7 p.m. this Friday night.
McKenzie wasted no time in doing its part to get into the playoffs. The Rebels blocked a punt and Cameron Rawls scooped it up at the 2 and scored with 9:54 to play in the opening frame. Zach Jarrett connected with Lane Horton for an early 8-0 lead. The Rebels got the ball back and scored again with 6:13 to play when Joseph Miller raced 51 yards for the score. The pass conversion failed, but the Rebels led 14-0.
The Pioneers had success moving the football, they just didn't score. Early in the second frame, Gibson County had to punt again and the kick was blocked by Lorenzo Haynes and returned 28 yards to the GC 3. Two plays later, Miller rang the bell from the 1. Jarrett found Josh Cannon on the deuce and the Rebels led 22-0 with 10:43 to play in the second.
The Rebels kept piling on when Jarrett hit Horton for 34 yards and a touchdown with 6:26 to play in the first half. The conversion pass failed and Miller was injured on the play. He did not return and finiished with 11 carries for 94 yards and two touchdowns. The Rebels led 28-0.
Gibson County dented the scoreboard just under two minutes later with Will Cantrell's TD run to cut the margin to 28-6. The kick failed. Twenty-one seconds later, Jarrett hit Rawls for a 68-yard TD. The kick failed and the Rebels led 34-6. That was the score at the break.
McKenzie kept the pressure on by scoring on a 65-yard drive to start the third stanza. Diggs scored from the 4 with 9:15 to play in the third. The kick failed. But the Rebels took a 40-6 advantage.
McKenzie's second unit forced a running clock with 10:42 to play in regulation when Bryston Diggs bolted into the end zone from the 4. Evan Jarrett hit Bryston Diggs for the two and the Rebels led 48-6.
Ozzy Rico led the Pioneers with 25 carries for 127 yards. GC compiled 171 total yards.
Deaaron Diggs carred seven times for 65 yards and Bryston Diggs had four totes for 34 yards. Evan Jarrett and Zach Jarrett combined to throw for 147 yards. Rawls had a 68-yard grab while Horton had two catches for 51 yards.