Jose Garcia (left) and Javier Roque (right) battled the weather and Shelbyville defenders to score a combined four goals.
—Staff Photo by Evan Harris
It was a flood in more ways than one on Tuesday night as despite pounding rainfall, the Franklin County Rebels defeated District 8-AAA rival Shelbyville 4-1.
Shelbyville’s Golden Eagles had no answer for junior Rebel Jose Garcia, nicknamed Pepe, who more than doubled his season goal total of two completing a hat trick with three goals on the night.
As the game was approaching the skies were clear, but coaches knew what loomed ahead.
“Score quick, score first and then just let Mother Nature take its course,” assistant coach Cletus Pew said of the Rebels game plan before the game.
The Rebels executed the game plan to perfection as Garcia scored the game’s first goal within the first ten minutes of play.
Shortly thereafter Mother Nature did indeed begin to take its course providing pounding rain and powerful wind gusts.
Rebel junior Javier Roque didn’t seem to care what the weather was doing, using some nifty footwork during the heart of the storm, to score the Rebels second goal of the match.
With a demanding 2-0 lead the Rebels cruised into halftime ensuring a full match in case of the weather being too severe to continue playing.
Running back into the storm after the halftime break the Rebels seemed to ease up just a bit, and the Golden Eagles took advantage scoring a goal early in the second half.
At a point where it could have been very easy for the Rebels to put their heads down, they did the opposite. Shelbyville’s goal lit a fire under the Rebels, putting the team back into attack mode.
Communication has been a continued working point for the Rebels in which they need to improve according to coach Pew. Senior exchange student Rodolfo Carvalho of Brazil stepped up as a vocal leader during the game for the Rebels, helping to set up some great plays.
Garcia showed great hustle on what ended up being his second goal of the night, as he sent the ball just over the goalie.
With time winding down another display of excellent hustle gave Garcia the opportunity for his third goal of the night and he capitalized, heading a ball into the net off an assist from senior Brennan McKay.
Rebel junior Jose Garcia being bombarded by his teammates in celebration upon scoring his third goal of the night to complete a hat trick.
—Photo provided by www.JCShots.com
Shortly thereafter the game came to an end and the Rebels were able to celebrate a hard fought 4-1 victory as the rain dispersed.
The impressive victory improved the Rebels to 2-0 in district play, and sends a message to the rest of the district as well.
“Anytime you can beat a district rival like Shelbyville in a dominating fashion it’s what you really get excited about as a coach.” Pew said following the game.
The Rebels have now had three separate players perform a hat trick this year, and coach Pew insists the team still has other players who can be impressive scorers.
After an initial tough slate of games to begin the season, the Rebels are beginning to hit their stride entering into district action.
“This team just keeps getting better and better,” Pew said of the Rebels.
Next up for Franklin County will be district rival the Tullahoma Wildcats tonight in Tullahoma, beginning at 7 p.m. The Wildcats are also undefeated with two wins in district play, but have a tie on their record with Coffee County.
A victory over Tullahoma would put the Rebels in a tie for first place in the district with Columbia, who the Rebels will play next week.
“If they play like they did tonight (Tullahoma) should not be a problem.” Coach Pew said Tuesday night after the Rebels 4-1 victory over Shelbyville.