ec-arc 1The Rebels go in front with a touchdown.
As expected, Effingham County’s defense pulled through for the Rebels in their season opening 31-0 win over Richmond Academy.
The defense, which has eight starters back from last year’s squad, made big plays in the second half. Free safety Darryl Wright intercepted two passes and ran one back 42 yards early in the fourth quarter to make it 19-0.
Just 12 seconds later, defensive lineman Cedric Taylor returned a fumble 35 yards to turn a close game into a blowout.
“Darryl and the defense had a good game,” ECHS head football coach Jack Webb said. “I told the defensive backs at the half to stop waiting on the ball and go up and get it like a receiver.”
The Rebel defense limited Richmond Academy to 138 yards, including a paltry 25 yards rushing.
Richmond Academy turned the ball over six times.
“We hung tough, but made too many mistakes, “Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes said. "We had an interception returned for a touchdown and a fumble returned for a touchdown and we can’t make mistakes like that.”
Unfortunately, for the Rebels, the Musketeers weren’t the only ones having a difficult time holding on to the football on the soggy field.
The Rebels fumbled the ball six times, turning it over on back-to-back possessions to open the second half.
“We have to clean up a whole lot,” Webb said. “I’m glad we won because that was about the only good thing from the game. We are still making too many mistakes.”
Despite a difficult time holding on to a slippery football, the offense gained 256 yards, all on the ground.
Webb’s running back by committee approach seemed to work well, as he rotated in seven different ball carriers.
Brandon Best led the rushing attack with 69 yards off 13 carries, including an 8-yard touchdown run with 33 seconds remaining in the third quarter to give Effingham a 13-0 lead.
Michael Johnson tallied 60 yards off 10 rushes.
Freshman Dyone Youmans broke a 57-yard run to the end zone in the fourth quarter for the Rebels’ final score.
Steven Tarpley scored the Rebels’ first touchdown eight seconds into the second quarter on a 3-yard run. For the night, he rushed for 40 yards on 10 carries.