The back-to-back defending champs left no doubt Friday — Thomas Heyward is still the king of SCISA Class 1A football until someone proves otherwise.
JR Patterson rushed for 237 yards and two TDs, Peyton Bennett threw two TD passes, and Dietrich Shuford rushed for 131 yards and a TD on just six carries to lead the Rebels to a 40-7 win over visiting Bethesda Academy in a rematch of last year’s SCISA 1A state title game.
On the heels of handing previously unbeaten St. John’s Christian a lopsided defeat, the Rebels flexed on another potential contender to end their reign. THA shredded the Blazers’ defense with a balanced attack, as Patterson averaged 18.2 yards per carry and Shuford averaged 21.8 on his six totes, and Bennett was 7-for-12 for 174 yards and two TDs. Anthony Fripp added 90 yards and a TD on nine carries, Bruzza Pusha had five catches for 104 yards and a score, and Brandon Howard hauled in a 61-yard TD.
In other words, pick your poison.
For the second straight week, defensive coordinator Mike Heath’s unit had a flawless gameplan, though the Rebels didn’t have to contend with dangerous dual-threat quarterback Antjuan McKay. With McKay sidelined, THA held the Blazers in check, shutting down a Bethesda offense that had not scored fewer than 20 points this season.
The Rebels (8-1) have won eight straight to clinch the region title and will host Greenwood Christian (2-6) next week to close out the regular season.