By Katie McElvy
For the third week in a row, the Chambers Academy Rebels were dominant on defense and in their run game, but when they traveled to Crenshaw Christian on Friday, they proved their offense was two-dimensional. The Rebels opened the game by forcing the Cougars to go three and out. Then, the Chambers offense quickly found the end zone as Koreen Henry picked up 35 yards on the ground, and Jacob Norgard picked up the touchdown on a 25-yard run. The two point conversion was successful, and the Rebels were up 8-0.
The Rebels allowed no yards on their next defensive series as Kyle Hand got a tackle for a loss, and Ryan Smith batted down a pass. On offense, Norgard once again ran for 12 yards. Then, the Rebels opened up their air attack as quarterback Kole Baker found Henry for a 67-yard touchdown pass. The two point conversion was once again good, and the Rebels ended the first quarter up 16-0.
The Rebels put together a solid drive to start the second quarter as Baker threw to Ryan Smith and Landon Hand for positive yardage. Norgard, TJ Daniel, and Eli Whorton all had 10-yard runs in the drive, and Norgard scored his third touchdown of the night to make the score 22-0.
Chambers added two more touchdowns before the half. The first included a first down pass to Kyle Hand and a 13-yard touchdown run by Norgard. The second was highlighted by passes to Whorton, Ryan Smith, and Kyle Hand. Baker capped off the drive with a touchdown pass to Henry, and the Rebels headed to the locker room up 35-0.
The Chambers offense seemed to have finally faltered in their opening series of the second half as they found themselves penned deep, but Whorton exploded with an 82-yard touchdown run to put the Rebels up 41-0.
Crenshaw did find the endzone two times in the second half, but the Rebels had already sealed the victory 41-14.
“This was a great win in a place that has traditionally been tough for us. Our guys came out and handled business. I think we continue to get better up front offensively, and our defense is continuing to play lights out. We didn’t give up a first down until late in the first half after we started substituting. Jacob Norgard ran the ball well on a night where he didn’t have his running mate, Luke Tarver, due to an injury,” said Head Coach Jason Allen.
“I was encouraged by our passing game as well. We executed what they were giving us, and Kole Baker made some really nice completions for touchdowns to Koreen Henry and Kyle Hand. If we can throw the ball like that every night, we will be tough to beat,” added Allen.
Baker completed 9 passes on 12 attempts for 263 yards and 2 touchdowns. Landon Hand added 2 completions on 3 attempts for 33 yards.
Henry had 5 receptions for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns while Kyle Hand caught 4 passes for 43 yards. Ryan Smith added 2 catches for 17 yards, and Landon Hand had a single reception for 32 yards.
On the ground, Norgard led the way with 155 yards and 3 touchdowns on 11 carries, Eli Whorton added 102 and a touchdown on 3 rushes. The Rebels amassed 646 yards of total offense on the night.
Defensively, Ryan Smith accumulated 8 tackles with 2 sacks, Whorton added 5 tackles, and Sam Smith had 4 tackles.
The Rebels will travel to Birmingham Friday to face Banks Academy. While not in the Rebels’ region, Banks could be Chambers’ toughest 2A foe during the regular season.
Allen expounded, “They will be the most talented team we will have faced, and we better be ready to play. They are fast and athletic and are one of the top two teams on the other side. It will be a great opportunity for us.”