The Berrien Rebels delivered a punch to Thomasville’s gut with a 13-0 first-half outburst Friday night. It was a smack the Bulldogs “deserved,” according to Thomasville coach Leroy Ryals.
“We didn’t come out with a lot of energy, which is unacceptable,” Ryals said. “Berrien did a good job and had a great game plan. They punched us right in the mouth and didn’t back up.”
Instead of folding, the Bulldogs responded with a counter-punch, highlighted by junior running back Mario Cherry. Cherry sparked the Bulldogs’ come-from-behind victory by running through and around the Rebels’ defense for 167 yards and three touchdowns as the Bulldogs surged past the Rebels 35-13 at Raymond Jones Memorial Stadium and improved to 4-3 overall and 2-1 in Region 1-AA play.
The win also marked Thomasville’s 19th in 20 meetings with Berrien with the other game ending in a tie.
Under first-year coach Ed Pilcher, the Rebels appeared poised to end that dubious streak. They scored on their fifth play from scrimmage on a 22-yard run from Quinton Tisby. Later in the first half, Berrien was forced to punt and it ricocheted off a Thomasville defender. The Rebels pounced on the loose ball and capitalized a few plays later with a 28-yard touchdown on a screen pass from backup quarterback Dalton Ingram to Taylor Griner.
See Saturday's edition for more details