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Rebels roll into semifinals

The Rebels of Lowndes Academy made its first strides toward the ‘big dance’ last night as they ripped the Pickens Academy Pirates 38 –8 in the AISA Class AA first round.

Both teams came off losses in their final regular season game, but Lowndes Academy was the aggressor in front of its home crowd

“This was the best game we’ve played,” said Rebel head coach Art Sullivan. “We tried the emphasize all week for the 11 guys one the field to play as one. We’ve yet to play our best game, but I’m proud of our guys.”

The Rebels reached the end zone on each of its first three possessions to open the second half and all but put the game away.

But the Lowndes Academy defense set the tone for the game. They forced two fumbles, recorded three interceptions and never allowed the Pirate offense to get going.

The defense forced a Pickens Academy fumble on the Pirates very first play to set up the Rebels first score. Brandon Pate went in from 2 yards out to give his team an early 7-0 lead after Kirk Lewis’ point after.

On Pickens Academy’s next possession and again on its first play, junior Kristian Kilpatrick intercepted the first of his three picks for the night. The defense recorded a safety the next time the Pirates got the ball to go up 9-0 after the first 12 minutes of play.

“I try to be a leader out there,” said Kilpatrick. “I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to get those interceptions. We just laid it on the line and gave it our best.”

Lowndes Academy’s defense continued to put the pressure on the Pirates as they posted another safety in the second quarter before Pickens Academy went to its air attack to get on the scoreboard with two minutes left in the quarter.

The Rebels took an 18-8 advantage at the break as the offense came right back to put together a 75-yard scoring drive just before half time that culminated on a 22-yard touchdown strike from Anderson Casey to Justin Sexton.

Lowndes Academy rolled up 342 yards on the ground, scored its three third-quarter touchdowns on runs of 32, 13, and 71 yards by Tyler Bozeman, Pate, his second, and Casey respectfully.

“We changed some blocking assignments at half time,” added Sullivan.

Bozeman finished with 125 rushing yards on just eight carries, while Pate recorded 101 yards with 20 carries. Casey ran the ball 13 times and added 95 yards. He also passed for 57 yards, completing seven of 10 attempts. Defensively, Hunter Schifferd recorded six tackles and one fumble recovery.