"I was a little surprised they kept kicking it to us," Thomas Heyward coach Nic Shuford said after the Rebels' 49-12 win over St. Andrew's on Friday in Ridgeland.
Shuford was referring to the Rebels' final three scores, all on kick returns and Thomas Heyward's only points after a breakout 28-point first quarter.
Ryan Day returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown. Then JD Tuten had a 55-yard punt return for a score. And finally, Tuten took a kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.
"They made some good runs that were sprung by some good blocking," Shuford said.
Tuten, Day and most of the Rebels' starters were out of the game, at least offensively, after the end of the first half against the overmatched Lions (1-5).
Before leaving, Day had 101 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries, while Tuten carried six times for 67 yards. Tuten was an efficient 7 of 13 passing for 124 yards and a score, a 24-yard strike to Bryan Lee Wade, who caught five passes for 72 yards.
The Rebels (7-0) ran just a handful of offensive plays in the second half.
"We got the win, which is good, but I don't think we played as well as we could have," Shuford said. "We jumped on them early, but I felt like we got a little complacent. We didn't look too sharp or crisp after the first quarter."
On defense, John Padgett led the way with six tackles, two sacks and two tackles for loss. Jessie McKenzie add five tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss, while Forrest Richardson recorded an interception."