The Rebels had already soundly defeated Chambers Academy during the regular season, 36-7, but the pressure was on to do it again, and they used a strong second half to win 39-12 and earn hosting rights for the second round of the playoffs next Friday.
Chambers took a first quarter lead over CVA. Chambers’ Ryan Brooks recovered a CVA fumble at the Rebel 45-yard line, and Brandon Ashford got loose two plays later to score on a 38-yard run. But that was as much of the end zone as Chambers would attain-their other points came on two field goals courtesy of Tyler Slay.
CVA tied the game on the first play of the second quarter on a 21-yard pass from John Bullen to Tanner Wood.
CVA’s Myles Varner recovered a Chambers fumble on the kickoff and CVA quickly scored again, with Bryce Cook carrying the final five yards for the touchdown for a 12-6 CVA lead.
Chambers kicked a field goal to make it 12-9 at the half.
CVA took the opening kickoff of the second half and mounted a 72-yard, six-play drive to pad the lead. Ryan Batson scored on a 34-yard run and Cody Garrett kicked the point-after-touchdown to make it 19-9.
Chambers drove back down to the Rebel nine-yard line where they opted for another field goal.
CVA answered with another TD, this one coming on a 56-yard run by Hunter Winslett.
CVA scored twice in the four quarter, the first on a 71-yard Bullen to Wood pass play, and the next on a 14-yard run by Adam McCranie.
CVA head coach Vince DiLorenzo said that Chambers had given up a lot of points during the season, and he had thought that the key to beating them would be to score a lot of points.
“I don’t mean to sound cocky, but I was just surprised it took us so long to do it,” he said. “I was nervous tonight. CVA hasn’t been the favored team in a long time.”
CVA ended the game with 261 rushing yards, but only 42 of those came in the first half, and the Rebels completed 4 of 7 passes in the first half for 69 yards. Second half totals were 219 rushing yards and 88 passing yards.
Nine different players ran the ball for CVA. Winslett had 83 yards; Batson had 68 yards.
Chambers’ Ashford was game-high with 123 yards rushing.
CVA hosts Autauga Academy next week in the second round of the three-round AISA playoffs. Autauga defeated Lowndes Academy 37-15 on Friday. The winner of next week’s game advances to the AISA state championship game in Troy.
“We’ve got one more game to win to be playing for a state championship,” he said.