Indians Hold On, Edge Turner 34-24

The Turner County Rebels and the Irwin County Indians battled on the Reservation last night in Ocilla with plenty of the line in terms of playoff seeding and region title hopes. The game lived up to the hype as the lead went back and forth. When the dust settled, the Indians, on the strength of a strong rushing attack, pulled away with a 34-24 victory to win Region 2A. Both the Indians and Rebels will advance to postseason play in two weeks. They won’t know their opponent until next week but it is certain that both teams will be home for at least one game in the playoffs.

‘We’ve got a four game series left,” said Rebels head coach Ben Simmons as he talked to his team and other Rebel supporters after the game. “We’re 8-2 and in the dance. Now we just have to go out and take advantage of the opportunity.”

Cartavion Benyard scores during the contest against Turner. Irwin County retains the Region Championship for a second year. Photo: Danielle Bundrick/SGSN

Cartavion Benyard scores during the contest against Turner. Irwin County retains the Region Championship for a second year. Photo: Danielle Bundrick/SGSN

The Rebels got on the board first thanks to a 35 yard field by senior Deondre Pierce for a 3-0 lead. That lead didn’t last long as Irwin scored from 60 yards out to take a 7-3 lead. They would add to that lead on a 6 play drive that went 44 yards for the score to make it 13-3. The Rebels quickly bounced back thanks to a 59 yard touchdown run by senior Lawton Merriweather. The extra point made it 13-10. However, the Indians quickly marched down the field and scored with just under two minutes left to take a 20-10 lead. But with just under a minute left, Rebel quarterback Tyler Moore found Pierce in the back of the end zone for the score. The two point conversion by Lorenzo Bolden made the score 20-18 at halftime.

In the second half, the Rebels took the lead as receiver Tamorrion Terry took the handoff and raced 85 yards down the Rebel sideline for the touchdown to give the Rebels a 24-20 lead. That lead lasted all of 12 seconds as Irwin took the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for the score to make it 27-24. They would add on a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The Rebels would have possession deep in Indian territory on two different occasions in the fourth quarter but were unable to punch it in. The Indians would run out the clock to seal the victory.

With the victory, the Indians are region champions for the second consecutive year and enter the postseason riding a lot of momentum. Turner County will wait until the bracket is finalized but they will have at least one game in Ashburn. Also advancing to the playoffs from Region 2-A are Clinch County, Charlton County, and possibly Telfair County, which makes it the strongest region in Class A. The Class A playoffs will begin on November 20.

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