By Katie McElvy
“Chambers just put the rest of the state on a wake up call that the Rebels are ready to play,” said Head Coach Jason Allen at the conclusion of the 67-18 win over Banks Academy on Friday in Mountain Brook. Coming into Friday night’s game the Jets were 3-0 with wins over 3A Bessemer Academy and 2022 2A State Champion Patrician Academy and were ranked at #6 by the ASWA.
Banks appeared to be a formidable opponent on the first play of the game as they wasted no time finding the endzone. The Jets’ quarterback launched a 77-yard yard touchdown pass to take the lead 6-0.
The Rebels then established their own drive with big runs by Luke Tarver and Jacob Norgard. Norgard punched in the touchdown, and Tarver picked up the 2-point conversion to put the Rebels on top 8-6. The Chambers defense then became very stingy only giving up 2 yards before Kyle Hand intercepted the ball at the Jets’ 30-yard line running the ball within 5 yards of the goal line. Tarver then scored the Rebels touchdown. As Norgard was crossing the goal line, the ball popped out but was caught in the endzone by Drew Sheppard for the additional 2 points making the Rebel lead 16-6.
Penned at their own 25 after a Norgard sack and a penalty, the Jets were forced to punt, but Ryan Smith got a hand on it, and Norgard caught the blocked punt, running it all the way into the red zone. Tarver ran the ball into the endzone four plays later, and Norgard added the 2-point conversion to extend the lead to 24-6.
With tackles for a loss by Sheppard and Eli Whorton, the Jets went three and out on their next two offensive series while the Rebel offense scored back-to-back touchdowns to make it a 40-6 game to start the second quarter. Along with Tarver and Norgard, Whorton and Koreen Henry gained big yardage in the two drives.
Banks finally found the endzone on a 58-yard touchdown pass, but the Rebels countered with their own touchdown in a drive highlighted by 20-yard runs by Taver and Whorton.
The Rebel defense reestablished their dominance in the next series, forcing the Jets to punt 6 yards behind their original line of scrimmage. The Jets muffed the snap on the punt and the Rebels took over at Banks’ 7-yard line. Tarver took the ball into the endzone on the next play, and Spencer Newman kicked the extra point to give the Rebels a 55-12 lead. Banks tried for one more long pass into the red zone before the end of the first half, but Henry got the interception.
Banks finally looked to be holding the Rebels on their first offensive series of the second half. Chambers was forced to punt, but a bad snap sent punter Newman scrambling, and he managed to pick up the first down. Tarver then decided to get in on the quarterback action and threw a touchdown pass to Ryan Smith to extend the Rebel lead 61-12.
Banks added another touchdown on their next drive, but the Rebels weren’t finished scoring yet as TJ Daniel laid down two nice runs to set up the 32-yard Landon Hand touchdown to make the final score 67-18.
The Rebels posted 514 yards of total offense. Quarterback Kole Baker was 7 for 7 on the night. On the ground, Luke Tarver picked up 191 yards on 19 carries, and Jacob Norgard posted 129 yards on just 8 carries.
Defensively, Drew Sheppard led the way with 5 tackles. Sheppard, TJ Daniel, Ryan Smith, and Eli Whorton all recorded sacks.
Next up, the Rebels will return home to face 3A Bessemer Academy. Kick-off is set for 7:00 at Torbert-Allen Field.