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|Ouachita season ends at hands of WM|
The West Monroe Rebels started slow but finished in a whirlwind of success with a 37-16 victory over their biggest rival, the Ouachita Lions, Friday night at Rebel Stadium.
The Rebel offense could not move the football on their first possession of the game and when West Monroe (12-0) dropped back to punt, a wild snap flew over the head of the punter and out of the endzone for a safety.
Ouachita led at that point, 2-0, in what would be their only lead of the ballgame. West Monroe continued to struggle on offense as their next drive stalled deep in Ouachita territory on the great play of a fired-up Lions defense.
Cody Hollis booted a 20-yard field goal to give West Monroe their first lead of the game, 3-2, near the end of the first quarter.
The Rebel offense exploded in the second quarter to give West Monroe a 24-2 halftime advantage.
Banks scored on a one-yard touchdown run on the next West Monroe possession. Banks ran for 104 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries while completing 8-of-10 passes for 82 yards in the game. Eric Talton carried the football 10 times for 43 yards on the night.
The Rebel defense got in the endzone on the ensuing Ouachita possession when defensive end Jordan Allen blocked a Ouachita punt and recovered in the endzone for a touchdown.
The Lions came out of the locker room on fire with a pair of quick touchdowns that kept the sellout crowd on its feet the majority of the second half.
Ouachita quarterback Corey Treadway connected with wide receiver Brandon Williams on a 69-yard bomb to begin the third quarter.
The pass was the fifth touchdown pass of the playoffs by Treadway, who completed 13-of-30 passes for 174 yards and two touchdowns.
Treadway threw three interceptions, all into the hands of West Monroe's Jonas Tyson. Treadway was limited on the ground by a stout West Monroe defensive front determined to contain the middle of the field.
The "hook and lateral" was then pulled out of the Ouachita bag-of-tricks for a 40-yard touchdown pass from Treadway to Brandon Williams, who then flipped back to Montrell Conner for the score.
Ouachita was knocking on the door of the West Monroe lead at 24-16, but the Rebels clamped down to put the game out of reach.
Using the option-run to milk the clock in classic West Monroe fashion, Banks found a hole in the Ouachita defense and bolted down the middle of the field for a 79-yard touchdown run, his second score of the contest.
The Rebels defense shutout Ouachita out in the final quarter as running back Ladarius Abrams scored on a 14-yard jaunt to end the scoring and give West Monroe the 37-16 advantage in the end.
Abrams finished the game with 134 yards on 21 carries. Montrell Conner, who had run for over 200-yards in two straight playoff games, was held to 55 yards rushing during the game.
Ouachita ends its season with a record of 10-3. The Rebels advance to the semi-final round to host the Barbe Buccaneers (12-0). Kickoff at Rebel Stadium is set for 7 p.m.