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Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

HAYNEVILLE – “We’re going to Troy!”

That was the one sentence yelled repeatedly by the fans and the Lowndes Academy team after the Rebels beat the Lakeside School Chiefs 27-6 Friday night.

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The Rebels will travel to Troy Friday to face Southern in the AISA Class AA state championship.

“We have never been Troy. We have been looking forward to that all season,” said Rebels coach Art Sullivan. “We haven’t won a state championship game since 1997. We’ve been close, but we couldn’t quite get over the semifinals. It feels good. Without this win, we wouldn’t be playing for the championship.”

During the regular season, the Rebels (11-1) beat the Chiefs 35-6.

“We won over Lakeside during the regular season,” said Sullivan. “Tonight they were better. They have improved a lot. They have a good team and coaching staff.”

With 3:46 left in the first quarter, on the fourth-and-16, Rebel quarterback Drew Harrell hit Eric St. Cin with a 39-yard touchdown pass.

The Chiefs (7-4) opened the second quarter with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Michael Peterson to Kyle Steadham.

The pass attempt on the two-point conversion was no good, and it was the first and last time they scored.

Harrell threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Jon Kreder to put the Rebels up 14-6 with 3:55 left in the second quarter.

After facing a third-and-23 situation, Harrell found Kreder for 22 yards and converted a first down.

With 13 seconds left on the clock, Trent Pate ran the ball in from 3 yards out to put the Rebels up 21-6 at the half.

The Chiefs came out in the third hoping to close the gap, but an interception from John Hooper thwarted Lakeside’s chances.

Neither team was able to get in the end zone during the third quarter.

Harrell hit T.J. Mills with a 31-yard touchdown pass for their last score of the night halfway through the fourth.

Sullivan credits his team’s success to its seniors.

“We have 11 seniors on our team. They have carried the team all year, and they have kept them focused.” said Sullivan.

Pate led the Rebels with 20 carries for 109 yards, seven total tackles and one touchdown scored. St. Cin followed with nine carries for 40 yards and one touchdown.

Harrell completed 11-of -17 pass attempts for 185 yards and three touchdowns.

Wes Granthum led the Rebels’ defense with 11 tackles, four assists and one sack.

The AA state championship game will be played at Troy University’s Movie Gallery Stadium at 7 p.m.