Rebels give Caledonia a good fight, but fall short

Published 11:07 pm Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Southland football team couldn’t close the deal in a 20-7 loss at Caledonia Wednesday.

The Rebels (6-1 overall) had the ball down 13-7 with under six minutes left in the game, but Alan May was stripped of the ball after gaining nine yards on a pass to Southland’s 25-yard line.

Caledonia (7-0 overall) took the opportunity and scored to make it 20-7 with 1:28 left in the game.

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“We could’ve easily won this game. We just didn’t make the plays when we needed to,” Southland head coach Shawn Kennedy said.

Southland scored on their first possession of the second half to pull within 13-7 when Sam Noterman found Henry Mullenbach for an eight-yard touchdown, but that was all the offense the Rebels could muster.

In the first half, Southland trailed 7-0 when it had a fourth and goal from the Caledonia three-yard line. With kicker William Ramirez out with a concussion, the Rebels went for it and Noterman threw an incomplete pass when there was a miscommunication between him and the intended receiver.

The Warriors responded with a 97-yard drive to take a 13-0 lead to halftime.

“That kind of took the wind out of our sails,” Kennedy said. “We probably would’ve kicked a field goal if our kicker was healthy.”

Kennedy said his team played much better in the second half after a slow start.

“We played a little scared in the first half because it was Caledonia. They’re a great team,” he said. “In the second half we played great.”

Southland gave the defending Class ‘A’ champs the best game of the season so far. Caledonia won all six of its other games by at least 21 points and five of those wins were by more than 30.