Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Big second half sparks South to first win of season

The South Rebels are finally in the win column.

South coach Matt Duffy knew it was only a matter of time before his team got back to the winning ways the program is accustomed to, so an early deficit against Brush didn’t shake him at all in a WRC matchup at Harry E. Winters Stadium on Sept. 25.

The Rebels scored 28 unanswered points and assumed control in the third quarter of a 41-21 win over the Arcs.

“This team handles adversity well and tonight we responded after Brush came out and punched us in the mouth a little bit,” Duffy said. “I love this group of guys. I’m proud of them. For them to stay resilient is a credit to their character. It is an emotional team and we had some guys make some big plays.”

Austin Scott opened the scoring for Brush (0-5) with a 3-yard TD run in the first quarter, but South pulled to within a point on a Mike Federico touchdown pass to Ramon Collins in the second quarter.

The Rebels (1-4) trailed, 7-6, at halftime, but came out with three scores in the third quarter to take over the game. Devanaire Conliffe caught a pair of touchdown passes from Federico and Anthony Tutolo rushed for a score as South swarmed to a 28-7 advantage.

“Devanaire is a special talent and he made some plays, but there were a lot of guys doing some good things for us as well,” Duffy said. “This was a team win. They hung in there and got it done. Now, we aren’t going to be thrilled with everything tonight, but overall it was a good win over a good football team.”

Federico and Andre Smith ran for scores in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Rebels, who will play rival North at Classic Park on Oct. 2.

“The town will be excited and it is a big game for the community and for both schools,” Duffy said. “Coach (Shawn) Dodd is doing some great things over at North and we are looking forward to it.”

Conliffe had three catches for 95 yards and two TDs. Federico was responsible for four touchdowns for the Rebels.

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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