Rebels hope to stay undefeated in district play tonight

Published 11:24 am Friday, September 15, 2023

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NATCHEZ — Last year when Adams County Christian School and Oak Forest Academy faced each other at Bobby Marks Stadium, the Rebels were in MAIS Class 4A and the Yellow Jackets were in Class 5A.

ACCS came away with a 31-14 win over Oak Forest Academy on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. While the Rebels went undefeated in the regular season only to lose in the Class 4A state semifinals, the Yellow Jackets would start the 2022 season 0-3 and then went on a 10-game winning streak on their way to capturing the Class 5A state championship.

Something will have to give this Friday night as these two teams are now District 3-5A opponents. Kickoff between ACCS (4-1, 1-0) and Oak Forest Academy (3-1, 2-0) in Amite, La. is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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“Both teams understand the significance of the game. If you want to win district, you have to win this game,” Rebels assistant coach Matthew Freeman said. “After they lost to us, they eventually went on a long winning streak.”

The Rebels are coming off an impressive 40-8 homecoming win over still-winless Brookhaven Academy last Friday night. Freeman said he was pleased with how well they played and did not let the distractions that come with homecoming phase them.

“I thought we executed well. Played good defensively and offensively. Had a good all-around game,” Freeman said.

As to what he, head coach David King, and the rest of the coaching staff were most pleased with and what areas still need some improvement heading into Friday night’s pivotal district showdown with the Yellow Jackets, Freeman said, “Just trying to get everybody healthy. Just building team chemistry. We have to execute on offense, defense, and special teams to beat Oak Forest. They’re a good team. We have to make sure we play our best in all aspects of the game.”

Freeman said that ACCS is working on all aspects of the game this week in practice to get ready for an Oak Forest squad which is coming off a 46-14 win at Cathedral High School last Friday night. He added, “We’ve got our game plan ready. We’re just trying to work on it so we can execute it Friday night.”

In last week’s win over Brookhaven Academy, ACCS junior quarterback Coleman Carter had his best game of the 2023 season by completing 11 of 12 passes for just over 150 yards and four touchdowns. Freeman said it could take that kind of performance for the Rebels to upset the Yellow Jackets, but it will not be easy.

“I would like to say it would be as easy this week as it was last week. If he throws as well as he did last week, I’ve got a feeling we have a chance to win the game,” Freeman said.

Freeman noted that the Rebels’ defense will have to slow down the Yellow Jackets’ ground game for them to have a chance. He also said that their defense as a whole concerns him, especially their speed.

“They’re just fast and physical on both sides of the ball like they always are. Offensively, everything starts with the run. If we can’t stop the run game, we’re going to be in trouble. Defensively, they fly around the field. Defensive line, linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties. They have speed everywhere,” Freeman said. “We have to take care of the ball. Don’t force things if we don’t need to.”

In addition to Carter, Freeman said both the offensive line and the defensive line for ACCS will have to step up and a have a big game for the Rebels to knock off the defending Class 5A state champion Yellow Jackets and stay undefeated in district play.

“They’re going to dictate the game Friday (night),” Freeman said.