If Hephzibah's offense stalls, the Rebels' defense steps up.
Hephzibah pulled out a close game at Glenn Hills on Friday night, recovering a fumble by Spartans quarterback Kendrick Armstrong in the fourth quarter to win 26-12.
Chris Washington, who tied the game at 12 earlier in the period on a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jonathan Lord, was chased out of the pocket and fumbled. The Rebels (5-1, 5-0 Region 3-AAAA) recovered, and three plays later, quarterback Terry Robinson dived in from the 1-yard line.
The Rebels added another score late in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run by fullback Bobby Liggins.
"Defense saved us again," Hephzibah coach John Bowen said. "They pulled it out. Nothing's easy."
Hephzibah, whose only loss came against Lincoln County, capitalized on miscues by Glenn Hills (2-3, 2-4) in the first half.
A bad snap on a punt led to the Rebels' first score, a 9-yard run by Antoine Nabors. Later in the first quarter, the Rebels blocked a punt and recovered it in the end zone for a safety.
Justin Dekert kicked a 36-yard field to give the Rebels a 12-0 lead at halftime.
Glenn Hills rallied in the second half. Germaine Tait scored on a 12-yard run to make it 12-6 in the third. Then the Spartans' defense recovered an Antoine Nabors fumble. Washington caught an Armstrong pass on his back for a 31-yard gain. Armstrong then hit Lord after the defender fell.
"We expected a close game," said Bowen, who had to hold off the Spartans last year after taking a 21-0 lead. "We were in a fight for 48 minutes."
Nabors, who finished with 97 yards on 19 carries, left the game after the fumble with an injury and didn't return.
HEPHZIBAH 26, GLENN HILLS 12
PLAY OF THE GAME: Glenn Hills rallied to tie the score at 12 in the fourth quarter, but Spartans quarterback Kendrick Armstrong fumbled. Three plays later, Hephzibah quarterback Terry Robinson scored from the 1-yard line.
PLAYER OF THE GAME: The Hephzibah defense deserves it, allowing only 162 yards total offense. Glenn Hills sophomore Germaine Tait , who has had a couple of big yardage games, was limited to 32 yards.
WHY hephzibah won: Defense, defense, defense.
WHY glenn hills lost: The Spartans broke down twice on special teams in the first half. Armstrong's fumble ended any chance of a victory.
NEXT: Harlem at Hephzibah, 7:30 p.m. Glenn Hills at Richmond Academy, 7:30 p.m.