Douglas Freeman (Photo: Justin Williamson/recruit804)
Douglas Freeman used a stout defense to quiet the Confederates
by Justin Williamson, recruit804
With 3:48 left in the game, 65-yards separated Lee Davis from forcing overtime and giving them the opportunity to advance in the playoffs. The Confederates were able to get one first down but nothing after as the Douglas Freeman Rebels stood their ground and will advance to the second round of the playoffs.
The aggressive Rebels defense proved to be the deciding factor as they registered five sacks and one interception. The attack was led by senior defensive lineman Nick Ackies who was unstoppable all night. The 6-3 250-pound senior used his stellar quickness in the pass rush and overpowered the opposing offensive line when they tried to run the ball.
“We were very aggressive to say the least. Last week wasn’t us and we wanted to come out to show what we were really about,” Ackies said about his team’s performance.
The Rebels came out of the gates looking to air the ball out but the Lee Davis defense attack was too much for the Rebels offensive line. On their second possession, the Rebels found success in a couple of quick screen plays. The Rebels began marching down the field and reached the red zone with a little under a minute left in the first quarter. Korry Cooper capitalized on his first carry of the night as he found an opening on the right side and walked into the end zone from 24 yards out.
The Confederates were looking to respond as their play maker Nathan Evans began slicing through the Rebels defense for positive yardage. Lee-Davis reached the four yard line before facing a fourth and one. The Rebels defense stuffed the middle as Evans could not find enough room to keep the drive going. It would be the closest the Confederates would come to scoring in the first half.
The biggest highlight of the night came when the Rebels were looking to score right before the half. Trey Laughlin dropped back to pass and rolled to his left avoiding Evans on a blitz. He looked downfield and found Ja’kari Williams for a first down but Williams wanted more. He avoided a couple of tacklers before seemingly being brought down but Williams did not let his knee touch the ground. Williams pulled loose and fell into the end zone to put the Rebels up 14-0 before halftime.
The Confederates would not allow their season to end easily. Evans got the Confederates rolling in the third quarter as he broke a 35-yard run to put the Confederates into scoring position. A few play later, Zach Lass hit Jamon Coffey in the corner of the end zone to help cut the deficit to one possession. However, the Confederates offense could not continue their short success as the Rebels defense held their ground for the rest of the night.
The Rebels rebounded after a tough loss last week and won their first postseason game since 2013. The Rebels await a tougher challenge in the second round as they will travel to Highland Springs and try to end the reigning champion’s quest for a repeat.
FINAL: Douglas Freeman 14, Lee-Davis 7
– Justin Williamson