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Bears pull away from Rebels
Burke County Juanya Dove attempts a pass while in the grasp of Effingham County's Dashaun Johnson on Friday at the Bear Den in Waynesboro. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

WAYNESBORO -- The Burke County Bears were like monthly bills. They just kept coming.

Effingham County was able to stave off the Bears for awhile Friday night but it eventually gave way in 31-17 loss that closed the non-region portion of the Rebels' schedule.

The Rebels (4-2) held the lead for about three minutes in the first quarter after Zach Thomas capped a 46-yard drive with a 24-yard field goal. The kick was set up by a shanked punt at the end of a three-and-out on Burke County's opening possession.

Ashaud Roberson got the drive off to a solid start with an 18-yard run to the Burke County 28. He followed it with a seven-yard sprint that put the Rebels on the fringe of the red zone.

Effingham County advanced all the way to the Bears 4 before pushed back a few years, forcing Thomas' kick.

The Bears (3-2), employed a no-huddle system with rapid-fire snaps, started to click offensive on their next possession as they strung together four first downs during a nine-play, 73-yard drive that ended with a 34-yard scoring grab by Demian Williams.

Burke County moved into Rebels territory the next time they got the ball only to be rebuffed by linebacker Zekeil Walls, who made a fourth-and-1 tackle in the backfield at the 40.

The Bears started another march toward the end zone after Effingham County went three-and-out for the third straight time. The drive covered 84 yards in eight plays, the last one a 15-yard run by Leon McGee midway through the second quarter.

The Rebels dented the scoreboard again just before halftime when Thomas uncorked a 51-yard field goal. He appeared confident in the kick's length and accuracy as he raised his arms in the air to signal it was good immediately after striking the ball.

The lengthy kick was set up by a fumble.

McGee upped their Bears' lead to 21-6 early in the third quarter after turning a turnover into a short touchdown run.

Desmond House answered a couple of minutes later with a five-yard scoring run of his own that, coupled with a two-point run, cut the gap to 21-14.

Effingham County didn't score again, however, and the Bears added 10 points in the fourth quarter, including another touchdown run by McGee.

The Rebels will return to action Oct. 5 at home against Bradwell Institute (2-3).