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Rebels pulverize Wildcats, clinch No. 3 seed

POSTED: November 4, 2017 12:48 a.m.
Mark Lastinger/staff/

The Rebels' Toot Johnson takes the ball to a referee after scoring a second-half touchdown against Richmond Hill on Friday.

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RICHMOND HILL -- Effingham County's 1-2 running punch of Toot Johnson and Zebrandon Gant decked the Richmond Hill Wildcats on Friday.

After being locked in a 6-6 tie at halftime against the No. 10-ranked Wildcats, the Rebels rolled up 405 of their 461 rushing yards in the final 24 minutes of a decisive 40-26 victory that earned them a first-round state playoff game at Coffee next week. 

Johnson and Gant rushed for 173 and 284 yards, respectively. Each tallied three touchdowns.

"Golly, they came out in the second half and were stroking it," Effingham County coach Buddy Holder said. "The offensive line was -- and the running backs were running physical. They weren't getting tackled easy and they kept breaking tackles."

Tje Rebels (5-5, 2-2 in 2-AAAAAA) scored on five of their first six second-half possessions, but Holder's defense was stout, too. After surrendering 107 rushing yards in the opening half, it gave up just 67 the rest of the game.

"We did a lot of good things defensively," Holder said. "We've got to make sure we continue to be fundamentally sound because whoever we play next week is going to be pretty danged good."

Special teams made Effingham County's victory complete, The Rebels blocked an extra point and a field goal. 

Cullen Wake logged the blocked field goal at the end of the first half, keeping the Wildcats (7-2, 2-2) from taking the lead.

See the Nov. 8 edition of the Effingham Herald for more details.

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