Photos by Suzannah Solomon Wilson
Rebels fall in title game
By Michael Butler
Reeltown's quest for the Class 2A state championship was over shortly after the title game started at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.
Less than five minutes into the first quarter, defending champ Fyffe was well on its way to defending its crown with a 20-0 lead. The Red Devils led by 35 at halftime and won 56-7.
Fyffe won its 30th straight game, its third state championship in four years and fourth in program history thwarting the Rebels attempt at its fourth blue trophy.
"We came out tonight a little shell shocked and ran up against a very good football team," Reeltown head football coach Matt Johnson said. "I think it was a combination of they are an exceptional football team and we made a few mistakes early. They were on fire, had the hot hand, and it got us behind the eight ball, so we had to do some things that were out of character for us."
Fyffe has built its recent 2A dynasty on a power running game and a shutdown defense. They put up 325 total yards, all but 20 coming on the ground. Reeltown was limited to 51 offensive yards and only four first downs.
"My message to the guys was fight to the end. It’s tough when you're so close with them. They are more than football players so it’s tough," said Johnson.
Of the several thousand spectators that paid the $15 ticket - many were wearing Reeltown blue.
"(Reeltown) is a special place (with) special fans, the best we could ask for," the Reeltown alum added.
Reeltown's lone highlight came on South Carolina commitment Eric Shaw's 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
The Rebels end their season with a 13-2 record.
"I can't say enough about this team. It's been a process of getting where we want to be. It’s a testament to these seniors. Seven of these guys have been starting since freshman. Everything that goes into getting to this point right here. These guys bought in and continued to get better. Their mentality is not just player talk but what they truly believe. I’m really proud of them."