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Warriors Stuff Rebels For First Region Win

A little extra time to prepare never hurt anyone. 

The Thompson Warriors had a big game against perennial power IMG academy last week, but dangerous weather from Hurricane Idalia forced the game to be canceled and, as a result, the Warriors found themselves with a couple extra days on their hands. That time proved fruitful and Thompson defense held the no. 4 Vestavia Hills Rebels to just 162 yards in a 21-3 win at Warrior Stadium to open region play. 

After the big win, head coach Mark Freeman spoke about the first big region win of the season.

“I promise you this, all wins in this region are good,” Freeman said. “Rob (Evans) and them do such a good job at Vestavia. Those kids play hard. And a one-point win is beautiful. So, I think it was a beautiful win.”

The first half was rough sledding for both offenses as they struggled to a 7-3 halftime score. Vestavia didn’t make it past midfield on their first drive and Trent Seaborn threw an interception into enemy territory to flip the possessions back to the Rebels.

Vestavia had good starting field position at their own 42-yard line, but squandered it as John Paul Head was picked off by senior linebacker Jayden Davis on the first play of the drive.

With the ball back, the Warriors went to work at the Vestavia 43-yard line. Four plays later, Seaborn found Colben Landrew with a perfect pass from 31 yards out for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 2:27 to go in the first quarter. 

Vestavia’s next drive took more than eight minutes of game time off the clock as they drove deep into Warrior territory, but it ended just like the previous drives: with a zero in the score column. Driving inside the 10-yard line, Thompson forced the Rebels into their second fourth down attempt of the drive and stopped John Paul Head on a run to turn the ball over with six minutes remaining in the half. 

Neither team would threaten the rest of the way with Thompson maintaining their 7-0 lead at halftime.

The defenses continued to stiffen in the third quarter. After punts from both sides the Rebels looked to have something going on their second drive, but went no further than Thompson’s 30-yard line thanks to Anquon Fegans knocking down a pass to the end zone. Vestavia settled for a 44-yard field goal with 3:42 left in the third quarter, but continued to put the pressure on the Warriors.

Thompson’s offense moved near midfield on their next drive, but a miscommunication forced an overthrow from Seaborn and a subsequent interception the Rebels returned to their own 37-yard line. 

Despite another great opportunity, Vestavia again was unable to take advantage. Thompson’s defense answered the call, allowed just three yards on the next two plays, then forced an incompletion for a huge three-and-out. 

In a tight region contest, it would be Thompson who didn’t blink in the fourth quarter. The defense surrendered just 50 total yards after halftime and Seaborn took it from there. 

After a perfect punt from John McGuire landed the Rebels at their own 6-yard line, the Warriors forced a Vestavia punt out of their own end zone, took over at their own 37 and Seaborn took it from there. After short six-play drive he drilled Landrew across the middle and the big sophomore bruised his way into the end zone for a 14-3 lead with 5:41 to go in the game. 

It would be senior safety Kaleb Harris who iced the game for Thompson with his second interception of the season and returned it to the 8-yard line, setting up an easy score to put the game totally out of reach. Quarterback Zach Sims’ rushing touchdown sealed the game up tight for the Warriors.

Senior running back AJ Green had an incredible game against Vestavia’s vaunted defense rushing for 134 yards on 27 attempts. Seaborn finished 17-26 for 167 yards, two TDs and three interceptions. Colben Landrew led the receiving corps with five receptions for 81 yards and two TDs while Deuce Oliver grabbed nine receptions for 66 yards. 

The Warriors (2-0, 1-0) will head back on the road next week to face the Spain Park Jaguars in another Region 3 matchup on Sept 15 at 7 p.m.


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