Tifton Gazette


May 19, 2014

Familiar foes for Turner football in 2014

TIFTON —  It is year two for John Gamble at the helm for the gridiron Turner County Rebels. There was good news and bad news last year. The bad news? A 4-7 record. The good? Despite that mark, the Rebels made it to the playoffs for the second straight year. Unfortunately, they drew Marion County in the first round, a team that ultimately won the state championship.

Reclassification kept them in 2-A. It kept everyone else, there, too, so there are many familiar faces on the schedule.

Turner's regular season begins with three non-region games. Terrell County at home on Aug. 22 is the first of these. They have not played the Greenwaves since 2008, but possess an all-time record of 23-12 against them and have won the last three.

After a week of hard work, they get a week off before a home game against Dooly County Sept. 5. The last meeting was a heartbreaker when Turner's lead evaporated in the the final minutes of the game. The two sides have each won 10 in the series.

Next up on Sept. 12 is their first game away from the confines of Hobby Field and all the way to Randolph-Clay. They last saw each other in 2003. The Rebels hold a 7-3 mark despite not winning since 2001.

Region begins Sept. 19 when they host Telfair County. The Trojans barely missed out on the playoffs last year and it took a flurry of Turner offense in 2013 for them to take a 48-34 win. They have only lost once in the series.

Turner had the glory of facing three of the four semifinalists last year. On Sept. 26, they travel to meet the state runner-up, Charlton County. They are 2-6 all-time, the last in 2012.

Another week on the week takes them to Lanier County on Oct. 3. They shut out the Bulldogs last year and the year before, but both Bulldog wins have come in Lakeland. Lanier was 2-8 last season.

There is another week of rest before they host Clinch County Oct. 17. It took three overtimes before the Panthers prevailed last time. They were also a quarterfinals team and the Rebels were part of their seven-game win streak.

Atkinson County returns to the schedule Oct. 24 in a road game after a two-year foray into AA. The other Rebels have not had the best of luck lately, having won just of their last 30 games. It has been even longer since they beat Turner: way back in 2004.

The last two weeks feature a road and a home game, but are difficult ways to close out a season. They go to Rochelle to face-off against Wilcox County Oct. 31 before finishing with Irwin County at home Nov. 7.

Turner has a winning record against the Patriots, but have lost their last six. Last year was close, though, as another patented Rebel air show fell just short to an equally wild offense, 42-39. Wilcox stumbled a bit in '13, recording their first losing season in nine years.

Irwin was also a semifinalist last year, but Turner's defense had their number for most of the night. The Indians averaged 38 points per game, but were held to 26.

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20140726 John Gamble.JPG

John Gamble (right) is joined by John Reid at the Tiftarea YMCA Saturday.

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