Rebels show strength in opener

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 24, 2007

By GEORGE JONES / For the Reporter

SELMA – Everything started slowly for Coosa Valley on Thursday, but the Rebels still managed a 37-19 win over Central Christian on the road for their season opener.

A lightning delay pushed the start back 15 minutes, and the offense didn’t really get going until the start of the second half, going into the break trailing 12-3.

And while the rains never stopped in the second half, the scoring didn’t either. Whit Lovelady threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns to lead head coach Steve Mackin to his first season-opening win as head coach for CVA.

“This means a daggum ton,” Mackin said, “I wanted my kids to make a statement tonight and they did. We’re not getting pushed around this year.”

Coosa Valley (1-0) fell behind by two scores after taking the first lead on a 21-yard field goal by Brandon Batchelor.

CCA answered right back with an 80-yard touchdown, and had success outrunning Mackin’s defense until he made halftime adjustments with his defensive line, taking away the other team’s ability to run outside.

On CCA’s first drive in the second half they scored on a short run to take a 19-3 lead, but then the Rebel offense took over the game and their defense didn’t allow another point.

Lovelady put the Rebels in the lead with a 66-yard touchdown pass followed by another 29-yard strike to receiver J.B. Ripley. A few possessions later, Chase Lacy strengthened the lead with a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown.

Lovelady and Lacy, who also starts at receiver, each added touchdown runs in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

“It was important to win,” said Mackin, “We wanted to start off the year right and it was a region game.”

Staff writer Perry Smith contributed to this report