The celebrating for Bowsher could have easily started at halftime in the Rebels’ locker room on Friday night.
A victory would clinch a second consecutive outright City League championship for the Rebels. A loss would have meant sharing the league title with Start.
The Rebels made it clear to the Spartans by halftime it wasn't in a sharing mood.
Bowsher jumped out to a 30-0 halftime advantage en route to a 46-0 drubbing of Start before a Rebels home crowd.
"It's been a great season and now we sit and wait to see if the football gods try to get the playoffs our way," Bowsher coach Craig Lubinski said. "It's been a great season and this [league championship] has been one of our goals for this year. The kids came to play tonight."
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The Rebels (8-2, 5-0 CL) entered the regular-season finale against the Spartans (4-6, 3-2 CL) with an outside chance of earning a playoff berth. They needed a victory and several scenarios outside of their control to occur to have a chance at extending their season.
The Rebels certainly looked like a playoff team against the Spartans.
Bowsher started its domination of Start early.
Rebels running back Mark Washington capped a nine-play, 86-yard drive with a 27-yard touchdown run on the final play of the first quarter. Backfield mate Khane Collins carried in the two-point conversion, the first of four for him on the night, to give Bowsher an 8-0 lead.
The scoring drive represented the beginning of the end for the Spartans, who had a chance at earning a piece of the league title with a win in the final game of the regular season for the second year in a row.
Bowsher outscored Start 22-0 in the second quarter to take a commanding 30-0 advantage into halftime.
Bowsher led 16-0 after traveling 77 yards on four plays with Steve Johnson scoring on a three-yard run. A 53-yard carry by Washington on the first play of the drive put the Rebels in scoring position. It gave him 81 yards on three carries en route to finishing with nine carries for 110 yards.
The Rebels, who've thrived offensively by relying on Washington, Johnson, and Khane Collins to run the football, scored their next two touchdowns by going with a surprising air attack that caught the Spartans off-guard.
Bowsher quarterback Mac Jewell connected twice with wideout Vincent Hill for scores before halftime on his way to throwing four TD passes on the night.
Hill's first touchdown catch covered 53 yards after he slipped behind a stacked defense that was playing close to the line in anticipation of a run. Hill's first TD gave the Rebels a 24-0 lead with 4:56 to play in the second quarter.
Jewell also found Hill wide open for a 15-yard touchdown completion with 30 seconds left before halftime.
"On those two passes it was just so open, I had to give it to him," Jewell said. "Those are the hardest passes because you might overthrow him."
Jewell also teamed up with Chris Suddeth for an eight-yard TD completion and with Washington for a 21-yard strike in the third quarter for the Rebels' final scores against Start.
The senior QB said the Rebels went into the second half still focused on having a good game on Senior Night.
"The talk was it's Senior Night, and we did everything we could to come out and have a great second half and stay healthy just in case something does come our way as far as the state playoffs," Jewell said.
Defensively, the Rebels scored a shutout with Ka'Ronn Osley picking off two of Brandon Winters' passes and Marceon Harris picking off another.
"We've just been working hard ever since two-a-days," Osley said. "We've been taking it seriously, and the seniors have been leaders and you see the results."
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.