Rebels get program’s 500th win

Published 10:30 am Monday, October 9, 2023

By Mike Marsee

Contributing writer

RUSSELL SPRINGS – Before Boyle County finished running roughshod over Russell County on Friday, the Rebels had to do a little running themselves.

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The Rebels were rolling but weren’t meeting the standard set by coach Justin Haddix, so he ordered them to remain on the field when the first half ended and had them run wind sprints during halftime.

So what became a historic night for Boyle – the Rebels returned to the field minutes later to finish off a 49-7 victory over Russell County that was the program’s 500th victory – became a memorable one as well.

“We’re playing against us. We very rarely talk about the other team, and we’re going to hold them to that standard no matter what,” Haddix said. “They know the expectations, and I think they got the message.”

Boyle reached 500 wins in its 61st football season. It has earned 292 of those wins since 1999, when it won the first of its 11 state championships.

The Rebels are 500-221-7 (.687) and averaged 8.2 wins over their 60 full seasons.

Win No. 500 was not in doubt after Sage Dawson forced and recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage and Boyle (7-0, 2-0 District 4A-7) scored four plays later.

Boyle raced to a 28-0 lead just over seven minutes into the game, using only seven plays – including three one-play drives – to score four touchdowns in 5:03.

The Rebels used an 11-play drive early in the second quarter – by which time some of their starters had already left the game – to stretch their lead to 34-0, but that was where things started to go wrong.

They drew two 15-yard penalties during that drive, and there would be six penalties and many more errors of execution before the first half expired.

“I can deal with a lot of things, but we’re not going to deal with (a lack of) simple execution and effort,” Haddix said.

While halftime activities commenced at Finley Field, the visibly upset Boyle coach lined his players up along the goal line and ran them for about three minutes before he held court under the goalpost.

“Coach (said) we stopped doing what we were coached to do, so we’ve got to get back to it,” Dawson said.

Wide receiver Keenan Stewart said the coach’s message came through loud and clear.

“Coach Haddix was obviously not very happy,” Stewart said. “We weren’t doing things the Boyle County way, and he let us know that for sure.”

“The Boyle County way” means the bar is higher than it is for most teams, no matter the opponent, Haddix said.

“When we get on the field and we’ve got ‘Rebels’ on our helmet and ‘Boyle’ across our chest, there’s a certain standard that’s expected, and we’re going to hold you to it, and they weren’t playing at that level.”

The Rebels got back on track in the third quarter. Gage Feltner scored his second touchdown less than a minute into the second half to trigger the running clock. Josh Bixler, playing in only his second game since transferring from Danville, scored his first TD for Boyle on its next series to make it 49-0 before Russell (1-7, 0-3) scored in the fourth quarter.

“I think we picked it up in the third quarter and it ended up being all right,” Stewart said.

Boyle had 251 yards in the first half and 349 overall. Dawson completed 13 of 18 passes for 148 yards, and Baylor Murphy was 3 for 5 for 28 yards.

Eleven different receivers caught passes for the Rebels, with Stewart leading the way with three catches.

Feltner had a game-high 67 rushing yards, and Bixler had 52.

Jaysia Richads had a pair of sacks for Boyle.

Haddix said he’s hoping the Rebels will have a good week of practice as they prepare for their first meeting since 2016 with Lincoln County (4-3, 2-0) this Friday, and he believes they will.

“I think so,” he said. “If not, we can do it again.”

Scoring summary

BC 28-6-15-0 – 49

RC 0-0-0-7 – 7

First Quarter

BC – Montavin Quisenberry 9 pass from Sage Dawson (Andrew Carr kick), 9:49.

BC – Demauriah Brown 36 pass from Dawson (Carr kick), 8:45.

BC – Geordon Brown 34 pass from Dawson (Carr kick), 6:51.

BC – Avery Bodner 22 run (Carr kick), 4:46.

Second Quarter

BC – Gage Feltner 12 run (pass failed), 7:14.

Third Quarter

BC – Feltner 7 pass from Dawson (Carr kick), 11:14.

BC – Josh Bixler 20 run (Eli McGuffey pass from Baylor Murphy), 2:45.

Fourth Quarter

RC – Kinnett Wills 80 pass from Owen Loy (Jace Skaggs kick), 11:11.