By Molly Seales
November 5 was a cold Friday night in East Point, but the loyal Riverdale Rebel fans gathered their coats, gloves, blankets, and portable heaters to come out and support the Rebel football team. The Rebels gave them a good show, taking down the Tensas Chiefs 58-24 and moving on to the semifinal game Friday, November 12, against the Briarfield Rebels. Riverdale defeated Briarfield 12-6 earlier this season at the homecoming game. This game is sure to be a battle to the end.
Senior Ty “Bones” Jones who has been a huge defensive factor all year broke loose on offense in what was quite possibly the best football game of his career. Jones led the Rebel offense with 12 carries for 216 yards and 5 touchdowns. Sophomore Kyle Guillory also proved to be an offensive force with 5 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown. Junior Ben Almond had 1 carry for a 34-yard touchdown, while sophomore quarterback Ryder Huddleston had 8 carries for 39 yards and a touchdown. Huddleston was 4 for 6 in passing for 53 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions. Jones had 2 receptions for 23 yards and a touchdown, while Almond had 2 receptions for 4 yards. Senior offensive lineman Kaden Cason and center Chandler Nettles, who have been vital to the Rebels all year, did an outstanding job in this playoff game.
Jones didn’t just put on an offensive show-he was in beast mode on the defensive side as well. He had 8 solo tackles, 10 assists (including 6 TFL,) and 1 PBU. Fellow senior lineman Denver Williams also stood tall in his leadership role with 5 solo tackles, 3 assists (6 TFL,) and 4 sacks for a Tensas loss of 20 yards. Senior Reagan Huddleston had 1 solo tackle and 1 assist, while his little brother Ryder had 1 solo tackle, 7 assists (4 TFL,) and 1 PBU. Almond had 4 solo tackles, 1 assist, and 1 interception for 24 yards. Guillory had 2 solo tackles (1 TFL,) and freshman Kaidyn Williams had 1 assist. Junior James Wagoner had 2 solo tackles and also recovered a Tensas fumble on the first kickoff of the game, while junior Tyler Parker was huge on defense with 1 solo tackle, 7 assists (4 TFL,) and one sack for a Tensas loss of 5 yards. Sophomore lineman Hayden Hillman rounded out the defensive effort with 2 solo tackles and 2 assists (1 TFL.)
The Rebels are hitting the practice field hard this week as they prepare for Briarfield to come to East Point this Friday night, November 12, to play the semifinal game. In the middle of the work, though, they found time for some fun. Coach Jensen told the boys that if they made it to the semifinal game, that they could shave his head. After practice Monday, Coach Jensen followed through on his promise as the boys took turns with the clippers and scissors. Coach Jared put on the finishing touches. Kickoff will be at 7:00 p.m. and the winner will advance to the state championship game in Jackson, MS, on Thursday, November 18th. Please make plans to come out and cheer the Rebels on to victory!
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