Now 4-4 on the season.
The Magazine Rattlers last playoff appearance was in 2013 and while a win Friday night would not guarantee an end to a three season streak of failing to qualify for the postseason, it was all but a requirement.
Head Coach Doug Powell said after the game the game plan going in was not to feature sophomore quarterback Xeng Yang, but it turned into a career night for Yang anyway as he ran for 128 yards and three touchdowns and returned an interception for a touchdown in 34-14 win.
Don’t let the score fool you. It wasn’t that easy. Going to the fourth quarter the game was tied; going to the bus it was a big win.
With 1:03 to go in the The game was tied at 14 after Alex Xiong tacked on a two point conversion following a Gunner Williams touchdown run for the Rebels.
From that point Magazine (4-4, 2-3 Conference 2A-4) dominated.
Caleb Hyatt returned the kickoff 68 yards to the Westside (3-4, 1-4) 22. Yang ran for 20 to the 2, and after Charles Lewis lost 3, Yang scored to give Magazine the lead back with 10:58 to play.
Hyatt, another sophomore, ran for 51, had 42 receiving and another 92 yards in kickoff returns.
Westside strung together three first downs but turned the ball over on downs at the Rattler 20 and Magazine went 80 yards in eight plays to make it 26-14.
Hyatt got the touchdown from the 13 but it was a 50-yard Yang carry and his 9-yard third down completion to Tommy Perez on successive plays to set up Hyatt’s run.
Yang threw for another 26 yards and had three solo and an assisted tackle. He also broke up a Rebel pass.
Yang still wasn’t finished. After a short kickoff the Rebels were at midfield when Yang picked off a Lane Houston pass and returned it 65 yards for a touchdown. Yang added the two himself to make it 34-14.
After a scoreless first quarter Westside got on the scoreboard first with Xiong scoring from the 1 on the first play of the second quarter.
The Rattlers were forced to punt on their next possession but turned to its defense to create offense.
First it was a fumble recovery by Byrce McDowell at the Rebel 46. It took nine plays but Yang scored from the 15 and the game was tied, 6-6.
The first play after the kickoff was a second Rebel fumble and Andy Yang returned it to the 28 and Yang would score for the 3, and add the two to give Magazine a 14-6 lead at the half.
The Rebels turned the ball over on downs twice just across midfield before finally getting a 44-yard run from Xiong to set up the tying touchdown.
Xiong ran for 85 yards on 16 carries to lad Westside.
The Rattlers host Mountainburg Friday while Westside and Western Yell County tangle. The Rattlers close the season at Westside and, regardless of what happens in Friday’s games, can claim the league’s final playoff spot with a win in that game.