Rebels overcome injury, emotions to win district title

Published 11:43 pm Friday, October 21, 2022

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NATCHEZ — A hushed silence fell over Bobby Marks field as athletic trainer Fred Worthy, Adams County Christian School coaches and Ryan Marchbanks surrounded Hayes Marchbanks at midfield on Friday night. Marchbanks was playing in his senior night football game against Riverfield when he went down with a dislocated hip with nine minutes left in the third quarter.

AC managed to bounce back to win 35-21 and maintain a 10-0 season, but it was hard.

Marchbanks was finally cleared to play in the game after breaking his collarbone against Clinton Christian Academy at the start of the year. Tears streamed down faces as the Rebel team offered hugs to the parents and support to Hayes. He was placed in the back of an ambulance. 

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The 40-minute delay in the game and a brutal injury took the wind out of the sails for AC. Riverfield scored a touchdown to cut the game to a two possession game shortly after.

Senior center Lawrence Hawkins had walked out to midfield as a captain with Marchbanks before the game. 

“We are praying for Hayes. At the moment, all you are thinking about is rage and anger. You have to focus on the game,” Hawkins said. “You have to get focused on supporting your teammates. We look forward to the game and can’t dwell on those moments.” 

AC did just that with a 45-yard pass from Coleman Carter to Terrell Tenner to respond to Riverfield’s touchdown. Carter completed 18 of 29 passes for 324 yards, four touchdowns and one interception on the night. 

He also had a 65 yard rushing touchdown and picked up 70 yards rushing on eight carries. Jordan Berry had 104 receiving yards and Tristan Burns had 127 receiving yards. 

Jessie Grayson caught a touchdown pass at the end of the first half. Jordan Berry had two touchdown receptions with a 14-yard haul and a 80-yard scorcher. 

AC’s offensive line helped Carter have time to make those plays and on the defensive side of the ball, they held firm against a running attack. Hawkins said it was a battle in the trenches. 

“It was rough and we had a ton of hits and bruises,” he said. “We just have to keep pushing forward. You can’t let the bumps stop you.” 

Senior Conor Aplin had six tackles and a sack for the Rebels. It is his third year of playing football at AC and he is making a difference on defense. 

He celebrated a district title win with his teammates following the game. Head Coach David King reminded them they have bigger fish to fry. 

“It means a lot to win the district title but we have higher goals,” Aplin said. “We have to get ready for the playoffs and to win a state championship now. When the season does end, I’m going to miss ten good people here at AC.” 

Hayes’s injury update given to the team following the game was he had a dislocated hip and they hope they could get it set with little damage to ligaments. AC should have a bye the first two weeks of the playoffs.