AUSTIN EDITION - Rebels stay unbeaten with road upset

GOODHUE -- The Southland Rebels used a dominant performance from their line to pull out a 20-6 win over Three Rivers Conference football power Goodhue on Friday night.

The road win lifted the Rebels to a 2-0 overall record. Goodhue is now 1-1 on the season.

The Rebels finished with 199 yards rushing on 40 attempts. The visitors got 147 yards rushing and two touchdowns from halfback Jake Chapek.

Goodhue, one of the Three Rivers preseason favorites, played the game shorthanded. It was missing three starters -- Eric Ryan, Brett Watson and Casey O'Connor -- all out with injuries. All are expected to return to action next week.

The Goodhue Wildcats came into this game ranked second in the state in the Class A poll. They were also the runner-up last season in the Prep Bowl. All of that mattered little to the Rebels, who have now beaten the Wildcats in two of their last three meetings.


"Their line pretty much dominated our line," Goodhue coach Clair Austin said. "We struggled with the defensive blitzes. We killed ourselves with two interceptions and a fumble."

Chapek scored the first Southland touchdown of the night with a 53-yard run in the first quarter. Chapek took a quick pitch from quarterback Cody Kirkpatrick and raced through the defense to give the Rebels a lead they would never relinquish.

Micah Huneke answered for Goodhue with the only touchdown of the second quarter, but the two-point conversion was missed. The Wildcats did rush for 153 yards on the night, but a couple of Rebels picks off quarterback Kelby Buck turned the tide.

The Rebels took a 7-6 lead into halftime, and it would stay that way through a scoreless third quarter.

"We were driving the ball pretty consistently, but had too many penalties, and still have some work to do," Southland coach Shawn Kennedy said. "We made a lot of mental mistakes and had a touchdown called back, but still pulled it out. Goodhue is an awesome football team and they were missing a few guys, but we did a great job."

The running game then took over for the Rebels as they pulled away with a couple of late scores. Chapek scored his second touchdown from 26 yards out with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

"I've never conditioned a team as hard as this team and it paid off with a big fourth quarter," Kennedy said. "Goodhue wore down Kingsland in their opener, so we wanted to be ready. We wanted to be in a position to win the game in the fourth quarter, and that's what happened."

Winston Smith scored the last touchdown for the Rebels. For most of the night, the Goodhue defense stopped the Southland trap play and prevented big runs by the fullback, Smith. This allowed the Rebels to go off tackle, and Chapek ran wild.


Needing a touchdown to put the game away late in the fourth quarter, the Rebels pounded inside and sealed it with a blast from Smith. The touchdown run up the middle from eight-yards by Smith put the finishing touches on the road win.

"The kids keep working hard, and they're starting to believe in themselves and play with confidence," Kennedy said. "The guys can enjoy themselves after this win, but only for one day. We'll be on the practice field over the weekend getting ready for Lewiston-Altura. There are no nights off in our conference, and we have to be ready for another battle next week."

Southland 7 0 0 13 -- 20

; Goodhue 0 6 0 0 -- 6;

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.