A.B. Miller started off strong and finished even stronger in its 28-12 victory over Rialto. But those middle quarters left a lot to be desired.
The Rebels went into halftime with a 14-0 lead after a touchdown run by Derrick Duran and a 12-yard run by Erin Madden. But somewhere between the halftime homecoming show and their first series of the third quarter, things fell apart.
Madden returned the opening second half kickoff 90 yards to the Rialto 9 only to watch his teammates fumble the ball away on a third-and-goal play from the one-yard line.
"We get down there and fumble on the one," said Miller Coach John Tyree. "Two weeks in a row we managed to do that."
Not to be outdone, the Knights saw their own 14-play 90-yard drive stall after a failed fourth down conversion on the Rebels' 4-yard line.
Both teams exchanged penalty laden drives throughout the third quarter with the Rebels incurring 50 yards worth in the first three quarters.
"Our goal was to come in and get no penalties and no turnovers," said Tyree. "Some guys are going to have to sit down if they can't play without getting stupid penalties."
Rialto finally got on the board in the fourth quarter with a one yard run that cut the Rebels lead to eight.
The Knights extra point attempt was blocked and on the Rebels next play from scrimmage, they pulled ahead again thanks to an 80 yard run by Madden.
"He's a good player," said Tyree. "But he got himself a penalty too."
Madden was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct during his second touchdown run.
Despite playing a horrid third quarter, the Rebels' defense kept the Knights out of the endzone long enough for their offense to pull away 28-6.
Following Duran's touchdown that put the Rebels in front by 22 points, the Knights turned the ball over on downs on their next drive in what should have been their last chance on offense.
But with the game well in hand late in the fourth, the Rebels substituted in their second string offense only to give the ball right back to the Knights after a fumble on the very first play.
The Knights managed to move backwards on their next drive after a miscommunication between the center and quarterback in which the ball was snapped while the quarterback was still waiting for the play from the sidelines, resulting in a 25 yard loss.
Following another penalty by the Rebels, the Knights somehow found the endzone for the second time in the fourth quarter with two seconds remaining in the game.