Rebels rally to take historic 47-37 win against JA


The Leake Academy Rebels took a historic victory over Jackson Academy last Friday night that fans will be talking about for years to come.

The Rebels rallied scored 34 points in the fourth quarter to defeat Jackson Academy 47-37 in prep football action. Leake Academy improved to 2-0 with the victory.

“It was a complete group effort,” Coach Brian Pickens said. “We were down by 30-7 in the third quarter but we never stopped playing. We tell our players not to worry about the scoreboard. Keep playing until the game is over. That’s the way we practice and it really paid off.

“This is a huge win for our school and our team. It was the biggest group win I have ever seen. Everyone worked hard and contributed.”

The Raiders went up 17-0 in the first quarter. Jackson Academy started the scoring with a 36-yard field goal to lead 3-0. Later in the quarter, JA returned an interception for a touchdown, and scored another on a one-yard run.

Both teams scored a touchdown in the second quarter. The Raiders scored on a three-yard run to go up 24-0.

Then the Rebels got on the scoreboard when quarterback Rhett Atkinson ran 26 yards for a touchdown. Cole Arthur kicked the extra point and Jackson Academy led 24-7 at the half.

Both teams scored a touchdown in the third quarter. Jackson Academy scored on a two-yard run. The extra point failed an the Raiders led 30-7

Leake Academy came back with a touchdown of its own when Whitt Welch scored on an 1-yard run. The extra point kick was no good and Jackson Academy led 30-13 going into the final quarter.

Atkinson scored on a five-yard run with 10:19 left in the game. Arthur’s kick was good and the Rebels trailed 30-20.

The Rebel defense held. Then Leake Academy got some help from the special teams as when Thomas Cheatham returned a punt 44 yards for a touchdown. Arthur’s kick was good and the Rebels trailed 30-27 with 9:45 left.

Leake Academy took the lead when Atkinson scored on a five-yard run, Arthur’s kick was good and the Rebels led 34-30 with 5:20 left in the game.

Jackson Academy retook the lead when Marcus Harris scored on a three-yard run. The kick was good and Jackson Academy led 37-34 with 4:04 left in the game.

The Rebels scored with 50 seconds left. On fourth and 19, Atkinson completed a 25-yard TD pass over the middle to Riley Myers for a touchdown. Arthur’s kick was good and the Rebels led 40-37.

Jake Brown put the victory on ice for the Rebels when he intercepted a JA pass and returned it for a touchdown with 26 seconds left. Arthur’s kick was good and the Rebels celebrated the victory.

“This was a great victory but now we have to focus on a very good Lamar team,” Pickens said. “We’ll be traveling to Meridian and it is an important district game.”

Leake Academy finished with 314 total yards and 22 first downs. The Rebels rushed 37 times for 154 yards, and completed 7-of-20 passing attempts for 158 yards. The Rebels were intercepted three times and gave up a fumble.

Jackson Academy had 207 total yards and 16 first downs. The Raiders had 194 rushing yards on 38 carries, and completed 6-of-19 passes for 13 yards, The Raiders gave up two interceptions.

Atkinson had all of the Rebels’ passing yards. He rushed 14 times for 75 yards, giving him 229 yards. He ran for three touchdowns and threw for another.

Riley Myers and Whitt Welch both rushed for 40 yards. Myers caught three passes for 102 yards, giving him 142 total yards.

Cheatham finished with 139 total yards. He returned two kickoffs for 69 yards; six punts for 48 yards and caught one pass for 25 yards. He rushed three times for -3 yards.

Parker Thomas was the leading tacklers with 16. Ethan Dunn had 13, Kade Marble 12, Myers eight and Nick Gomillion finished with seven.

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