VENICE — Dixie Hollins knew traveling to Venice and winning would be a tall task. And it turned out to be.
The Rebels turned the ball over five times and gave up 27 third-quarter points in the Class 6A, District 7 opener for both teams.
“Venice is a good football team over there, and they showed why they’re ranked whatever they are,” Rebels coach Shannon Brooks said of the state’s No. 5-ranked team in 6A. “They’re so well-coached and fundamentally sound.”
The Rebels (2-3) forced a three-and-out on the game’s first series. They then drove the ball into Indians territory but stalled once they hit the red zone. Bojan Stopjak connected on a 42-yard field goal to give the Rebels their only lead.
The Indians (5-1) answered with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Dominic Marino to Noah Montgomery and never looked back.
Stalled drives was the theme of the night for the Rebels. They consistently moved the ball through the air but struggled to put points on the board. On their second drive, they reached the Venice 18 before losing a fumble. On their next drive, they turned the ball over on downs. And on their last two drives of the first half, they punted.
“In the first half, we always came up with a mistake that hurt us down there,” Brooks said. “Against a team this good, you can’t beat yourself.”
Quarterback Tyrie Adams threw for 202 yards for the Rebels.