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Squadron takes on Bulldogs tonight

A second-quarter rally from Zion Chapel would not be enough to keep the Highland Home Flying Squadron down on Friday, and the Rebels went down fighting with a score of 28-14.

The Rebels quickly found themselves trailing in the game after Jalen Clayton for Highland Home broke free for a 38-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter. Andrew Akers made the extra point.

Zion Chapel was forced to punt, and it took the Flying Squadron just two plays to score again, pushing their lead to 14-0.

The Flying Squadron would cash in again on the opening play of the second quarter with Darryl Matthews’ 24-yard rushing touchdown to take a commanding 20-0 lead just 13 minutes into the game.

Zion Chapel head coach Bradley Bowers said he knew that his team was in for a long night after a quick start from the Flying Squadron.

“Well we didn’t do ourselves any favors when we came out the first 13 minutes of the game and gave up 20 points,” Bowers said. “We dug ourselves a big hole there. But, before the half we were able to come back out and make it 20-14, and I thought we made some good adjustments.”

The third Highland Home touchdown seemed to awaken the Rebels, and on the ensuing kickoff for Zion Chapel Chris Adair managed to get around the end and scamper up the field for what would be a 57-yard return that later resulted in an 11-yard touchdown run by Adair.

Following the touchdown Zion Chapel found themselves on the receiving end of a Highland Home fumble to give the Rebels great field position at the Flying Squadron 32-yard line. However, the Rebels were unable to make anything of the opportunity and lost possession with a turnover.

The Rebels finished the half trailing the Flying Squadron by one touchdown, and moved into the second half with two fumbles from Highland Home.

“We lost momentum a little bit,” said Highland Home head coach Claude Giddens.

Zion Chapel was not able to capitalize on the opportunities, but looking into the coming week, Bowers said missed chances on the field would be something the team would work on for the next game and the rest of the season.

“We came out and get three turnovers, but offensively we down inside the 30 and we can’t do anything with it,” Bowers said.

Neither team scored in the third quarter, but early in the fourth quarter Zion Chapel managed to convert on fourth-and-inches in their opponents’ territory to keep their drive alive. The Rebels turned the ball over on fourth and five after Mobley was tackled for a loss.

Giddens said junior Kirk Merriweather helped the Squadron make a defensive stand against the rebels in the fourth quarter. Senior linebacker Payton Frazier was another bright spot on the defensive line.

“Payton played a really, really good ballgame,” Giddens said.

On the next drive Highland Home made sure to grind out the clock as the game winded down before ending the drive with a the final touchdown for the game from Cole Roper to effectively end the game at 28-14.

The Squadron are now 2-2 with a 2-1 record in region play. Highland Home will take a week off region play to host local rival Brantley High School Friday.

“Brantley is really a great football team and well-coached. The whole staff does a good job,” Giddens said. “I’ve known Ashley and Andrew Kilcrease from my former coaching here. Actually, Andrew coached with me here for a while.”

In preparation for the game, Highland Home worked hard on every aspect of the game.

“The county has a lot of pride on the line. The kids know each other, coaches know each other,” Giddens said. “I just hope we go out and play hard. If we can do that from the time the whistle snaps, I’ll feel like we’ve accomplished something.”