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The Real Rebels, Strom Thurmond Dominates Mid Carolina 45-13

By Tim Crane

web posted November 14, 2015
SPORTS- The playoffs couldn’t have opened any better for the Strom Thurmond Rebels.  A quick three and out forced by the Blue Steel defense provided Strom Thurmond the ball at Mid Carolina’s 45 yard line.  Two plays later Chad Gilchrist trotted into the endzone on an 11 yard touchdown run set up by a 34 yard Deandre Ryan reception.  Lawson Reel’s point after put the home team up 7-0 with 10:10 to go in the opening quarter. 

Malik Nicholson grabbed his team leading sixth interception off Corey Stone on Mid Carolina’s  next possession, but a mistake infused series with penalties, a sack and a dropped pass stalled the offensive drive for the home side Rebels. 

Mid Carolina knotted the score at seven with 10:58 remaining in the second quarter on a 74 yard ten play drive ending with a seven yard Terrell Long touchdown reception. “In the first half I don’t think we played very well, but my defensive coaches made some adjustments at halftime and we played a lot better in the second half” said Coach Hillary.

With Mid Carolina’s defense stacked up in the box and keying on standout running back Chad Gilchrist, Strom Thurmond was still able to put together an eight play 64 yard drive by mixing up runs from Gilchrist and Sanchez Singleton. Tyrece Nick connected with Tyrek Williams on a 24 yard pass play, setting Deandre Ryan up for a three yard touchdown run.  Ryan’s score put the home side up 14-7 going into halftime.

The second half agenda for Strom Thurmond consisted of making an offensive statement and providing some breathing room.  Tay Merriweather signed, sealed and delivered that statement by returning the kickoff 98 yards for a score, bolting the Rebels ahead 21-7 after Lawson Reel’s extra point. 

“Tay Tay has tremendous speed.  I’ve never seen anyone run like that in my nine years of coaching.  We decided to put him back returning kicks. This is one of the changes we made this week and it paid dividends” said Coach Hillary.

The Blue Steel defense went into shutdown mode, holding Mid Carolina without a first down on the visitor’s first four possessions of the 2nd half. 

Lawson Reel hit a 26 yard field goal with 6:39 to go in the 3rd quarter, moving Strom Thurmond ahead 24-7, after a promising offensive drive stalled.

Deandre Ryan took a Tyrece Nick pass 45 yards for a touchdown then Ryan tossed a halfback pass 24 yards for a score to Tyrek Williams on back to back possessions in the 3rd quarter.  The 24 point 3rd quarter explosion assured the #1 seed would be moving on to the 2nd round.   

Sanchez Singleton burst thru the left side for an 18 yard touchdown run with 2:42 remaining in the game to finalize the scoring at 45-13.  Singletons scored capped a 49 yard six play drive that melted three minutes off the clock.  William Rodriquez connected the point after for the Rebels. 

“I challenged them to come out with a vengeance in the second half and execute- come out like we wanted to win.  We couldn’t do anything about the way we played in the first half, but we knew we had a chance to redeem ourselves in the 2nd half.  I’m proud of my guys for putting their foot on the gas and not letting up.  

I’d to thank the fans, we had a great crowd out tonight and we will need a tremendous crowd out here next week for support to help us get to the 3rd round” stated Coach Hillary. 

Recap by quarter:
           1st  2nd  3rd  4th  Final     penalty yards    first downs     total offensive yards
   MC     0    7      0     6     13             5-25                10                       213
   ST      7    7     24    7     45             9-67                 11                       286

Individuals for Strom Thurmond
Tyrece Nick 9-14-141 yards, 1 touchdown
Deandre Ryan 1-1-24 yards, 1 touchdown

Tyrece Nick 7- (-23) yards
Chad Gilchrist 7-33 yards, 1 touchdown
Sanchez Singleton 7-62 yards, 1 touchdown
Jaquan Edwards 6-46 yards
Deandre Ryans 1-3 yards, 1 touchdown

Tyrek Williams 4-52 yards, 1 touchdown
Rashad Bryant 2-6 yards
Deandre Ryans 4-107 yards, 1 touchdown

Lawson Reel 6-6 P.A.T’s, 1 field goal 26 yards, 5 punts 184 yards 37 avg
William Rodriquez 1-1 P.A.T’s

Deandre Ryan 2-30 yards
Malik Nicholson 1-3 yards (interception)
Tay Merriweather 2-115 yards, (98 yard kickoff return for touchdown).

What’s Next:
Strom Thurmond (10-1) will host Newberry (9-2) in the 2nd round of the AA playoffs next Friday night.

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