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Rebels ready to hit road to Greenbrier
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Effingham County running back Michael Johnson is one of several ball carriers for the Rebels. - photo by File photo

Effingham County not only looks to rebound from last week’s 20-6 loss to arch-rival South Effingham, but more importantly stay undefeated in the region.

The Rebels (1-1, 1-0 Region 3-AAAA) resume region play Friday with a 7:30 p.m. game at Greenbrier in Evans.
Effingham County head football coach Jack Webb said his team is working hard in practice.

“They’ve looked pretty good the past few days, and we’re a little more focused than we were last week,” he said. “We still see things we got to improve on and South did a nice job of pointing those out to us and we’re still working.”

Webb said no particular running back has caught his eye yet, so Michael Johnson, Brandon Best and Stephen Tarpley, among others, should see plenty of touches.

Webb said the running game is crucial to winning.

“We’ve got to score points,” he said. “We have to control the football. We can’t let them be on the field all night. Our defense can’t stay our there as much as we did last week. Our offense must maintain control of the ball and score.”

Greenbrier loves to pass and with 6-foot- 4 quarterback Nick Richards, who has an arm that Webb described as a howitzer, and two speedy receivers, who wouldn’t.

While Richards and wide receivers Andy Gray and Salonich Amos have the potential to light up the scoreboard, they have failed to do so this season.

Greenbrier’s two wins — defeating Westside-Augusta 24-14 and region foe Lakeside-Evans 16-9 — were primarily because of the defense.

“The biggest thing is we have played good defense so far and last year that was a real struggle for us,” Greenbrier head football coach Scott Chadwick said. “We’re trying to find ourselves offensively a little right now.”

Effingham County dominated Greenbrier last season, winning 41-14 at Rebel Field, but Webb said the Wolfpack is dangerous.

“They look pretty impressive to me,” Webb said. “They got their quarterback back, speedy wide receivers and a running game that really complements the passing part of it. We have our work cut out for us.”

Webb said the Rebels’ defense has been concentrating on pass coverage.

“We’re working on our pass defense and we’re going to add a couple more pass coverages into our game plan,” he said. “If he’s (Richards) on, he’s on. If he’s not, he’s not. I’m hoping he’s not.”

Chadwick said the key to a Wolfpack victory is for his team to take advantage of any opportunity they get, particularly turnovers.

“Effingham is very sound defensively and they’re not going to give up many points,” he said. “We have to maximize our opportunities and chance we have to score.”

Chadwick described Effingham’s offense as strong.

“One of our biggest concerns is that they are going to line up and push us all over the field, which they did last year,” he said. “My biggest concern is that they will pound us with the running game and keep us off the ground.”

This will be the Rebels’ first of four road trips out of the county this season.

Despite the three-hour bus trip, Webb said the Rebels would try to keep their normal schedule.

The team will eat its pre-game meal at the same time as usual, only this time in Waynesboro. Normally after eating the team goes to an air-conditioned classroom to relax. On Friday, they will relax on the bus. Webb said they should arrive to the stadium at 5:30 p.m. and begin warming up at 6:30 p.m. The students will get out of class  around 1:30 p.m.

Effingham County at Greenbrier
• Records: ECHS 1-1, GHS 2-0
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Where: Brierpatch, Evans
• Tickets: $6 at the gate
• Radio: WSVG FM-105.7