By Katie McElvy
The Chambers Academy Rebels finally returned home on Friday after a long stint on the road to face 3A Bessemer Academy. Chambers wasted no time finding the endzone as Jacob Norgard ran the opening kick off back, but a holding penalty negated the run. However, Koreen Henry scored an 85-yard touchdown on the very next play to put the Rebels up 6-0.
Bessemer was able to answer with a field goal to make the score 6-3. Chambers established a successful drive to finish out the first quarter which was capped off with a 26-yard touchdown by Norgard. Luke Tarver scored the 2-point conversion to extend the Rebel lead 14-6.
With a sack by Austin Brooks and Kyle Hand, a tackle for a loss by Eli Whorton, and a pass broken up by Kyle Hand, the Rebel defense forced Bessemer to punt, but Chambers fumbled the put on their own 30, and Bessemer took over. However, the Rebel defense allowed no yards on the drive and got the ball back.
Henry, Tarver, and Norgard all picked up first downs in the next touchdown drive with Norgard scoring the 6 points and Tarver adding the 2-point conversion.
Bessemer answered by connecting on a long pass. Then, they drove inside the red zone, but a quarterback sack by Ryan Smith, TJ Daniel, and Drew Sheppard forced Bessmer to attempt a field goal, and Chambers was able to block it.
On the heels of Tarver, Chambers took just three plays to find the endzone. Tarver connected with Henry on the conversion. The Rebel defense forced a three and out, and it only took one play for Chambers to post their next score as Kole Baker found Henry for the Rebel touchdown, and Chambers headed to halftime up 38-3.
Bessemer seemed to have made some halftime adjustments as they opened up the second half with a first down. They continued to drive the ball until Ryan Smith just took the ball away from the Bessemer running back. Baker hit Tarver across the middle, and Tarver took the ball inside the 10 yard line. Eli Whorton drove it to the 3, and Tarver scored. The Spencer Newman PAT was good, and the Rebels extended their lead 45-3.
Bessemer answered with a touchdown to make the final score 45-3.
“We played really well again Friday night at home. Once we get it rolling, it can be hard to stop,” commented Head Coach Jason Allen.
Offensively, the Rebels gained 550 total yards on Friday. Kole Baker completed all 5 of his passes for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. Koreen Henry had 5 receptions for 82 yards and 2 touchdowns.
On the ground, Luke Tarver was the lead rusher with 133 yards and 2 touchdowns on 10 carries while Jacob Norgard added 82 yards and 2 touchdowns on 8 carries.
“I thought Bessemer had a good plan, but our physicality and speed really took over the game. Our guys enjoy hitting other people, and it shows,” added Allen.
Eli Whorton was the leader on defense with 7 tackles. Drew Sheppard, Parker Otto, TJ Daniel, and Luke Tarver all followed with 4 tackles each.
“We’re really hot offensively, and I hate to have a bye week coming up, but we will take it and use it to our advantage. I’m really proud of the strides we have made since the beginning of the season. It’s been a fun bunch to coach so far. We are set up to play three region games in a row when we come back. That will determine our playoff destiny, so we need to get ready to close this thing out,” said Allen.
Chambers will be back on the field in two weeks to face region foe, Abbeville Christian, in a homecoming match-up. Kick-off is set for 7:00.