This matchup was nothing like the first game of the year, but the result was same as the Byrnes Rebels defeated the Northwestern Trojans 37-36 in overtime in the second round of the 4A Division 1 playoffs at Nixon Field. They play at Dutch Fork in the semifinals.
The Rebels wasted no time in striking on their first drive. Junior quarterback Micah Young hit Braylin Collins for a 36-yard touchdown pass just 2:13 into the game. The drive covered 80 yards in seven plays.
Northwestern answered right back on their first possession. On third-and-eight from their own 30, senior quarterback Dupree Hart escaped pressure and found a wide open Logan Rudolph for a 62-yard gain down to the Byrnes 8-yard-line. Four plays later, Hart snuck it in around the left side on fourth-and-goal from the one to tie the game at 7.
The Rebels answered on the very next play from scrimmage. It was Young-to-Collins again on first down for a 65-yard score down the right sideline and a 14-7 lead with 7:10 left in the first quarter. At this point Collins, who missed last week’s game for disciplinary reasons, already had 101 yards receiving.
Hart ran the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to the 19. He would score on a 16-yard run on second down but it would be called back due to a holding penalty. After a sack of Hart, the Trojans would wind up punting from the Byrnes’ 41 after having the ball at the 16.
Alan Taylerson would hit field goals of 31 and 26 yards in the last 4:49 of the half to cut the Rebel lead to 14-13 at the half. After the two opening touchdowns, the last five Byrnes possessions of the half would end in a turnover-on-downs, two punts, a fumble by the punter, and the end of the half. Collins had 121 yards in the first quarter but zero in the second. Young was eight for his first 11 for 114 yards and two for his next 11 for 3 yards.
Northwestern would dodge a huge bullet as the Rebels had a 70-yard catch-and-run touchdown called back due to a holding call with 1:12 left before half. Three plays later as Byrnes tried to punt, the punter fumbled the ball under a heavy rush and Julian Shockley recovered at the Rebels 8-yard-line. Hart would score on the next play but again a holding call nullified the score. It was Hart’s second touchdown called back on a holding call. Taylerson would boot his second field, a 26-yarder, with six seconds left in the half.
Shockley took the opening kickoff of the second half 51 yards to the Byrnes 20. The Trojans would move to the five but had to settle for another Taylerson field goal, this one from 22 yards. His third field goal gave Northwestern their first lead at 16-14.
The Rebels would again come right back and go 65 yards in seven plays to regain the lead. Young hit Isaiah Hill for an 18-yard touchdown on a well-executed screen pass and Byrnes led 21-16.
Northwestern would stop the Rebels on downs at the 49-yard-line on their next drive with 4:46 left in the third. The Trojans would drive 51 yards in seven plays and Hart would score on a 15-yard spinning touchdown run to put Northwestern back up 22-21. The two-point pass would go in and out of the receiver’s hands.
In keeping with the theme of this back-and-forth game, Byrnes would only take two plays to retake the upper hand. Young-to-Collins clicked for a third time, this time from 71 yards. Young rolled right and threw back left to a wide open Tavin Richardson for the two-pointer and the Rebels led 29-22 with 1:07 remaining in the third.
On the first Byrnes drive of the fourth quarter, they fumbled at midfield. Two Hart runs, the second a 29-yarder and his third touchdown of the game, tied the score at 29.
The Trojans scored on the first play of overtime on Jerry Howard’s 10-yard run for the 36-29 lead. Byrnes would answer on two runs from Micah Young. Brian Lane would gamble and go for two and the win. Young rolled right and found Tavin Richardson wide open in the front of the end zone for the win.
Shrine Bowl defensive back Lyrics Klugh did not play for Byrnes due to disciplinary reasons.