Indians Fall To ECI In Season Opener
If there’s a bright side for Vidalia’s coaching staff after Friday’s opener against ECI, it’s that it should be easy enough to see where the problems are when the tapes are viewed. Vidalia’s offense was definitely not ready for prime time; and the defense just gave up too much yardage and too many first downs on third down. Of course, this was the first game, and only the first time the Indians have run a new offense and defense against an opponent. Also, ECI isn’t the easiest place to play either, especially when the Bulldogs were coming off a first game loss. The Indians were nearly ambushed in the little stadium in Twin City last sesaon; and fourth quarter heroics were also a possibility with about 5 minutes left. Unlike last season. That comeback didn’t happen. Vidalia will have to improve if they’re to have any chance against Bleckley County, which enters this Friday’s contest at 2-1 after hammering South Atlanta 44-6.
The Indians received the opening kickoff, and Trevion Adams nearly broke the return for a long gainer.
After that thrill, Indian fans were mostly in their seats. Vidalia went 3-and-out, with consecutive incomplete passes.
The Indians picked up only one first down in the first half.
ECI was able to move the ball; but for the most part, Vidalia’s defense kept the Bulldogs in check. The early part of the game turned into a punting duel.
The Bulldogs finally broke through though, when QB Chris Whitehead threw a perfect 22 yard seam rout to tight end Kris Jackson for the game’s first TD. The extra point made the score 7-0 with 10:51 left in the first half.
Vidalia’s defense seized momentum late in the third quarter. A couple of sacks put ECI in a hole in punt formation from their own 16-yard line.
A good ECI punt was mishandled as Antrevion Williams came up to catch the ball right in front of the Vidalia bench. Williams never caught the ball as much as he tried to field it to keep it from bouncing for more yards.
Instead of a first and 10 though, the Indians ended up putting a tired defense back on the field. A couple of plays later, speedster P.J. Farnum scored on a 45-yard run. The PAT made it 14-0. To Vidalia’s credit, the Indians put together a 55-yard drive, mostly behind the running of quarterback Bryce Davis and running back Jaedyn Stanley.
After a long sideline sprint by Davis, Stanley broke through the middle of the Bulldog line before being tackled into the end zone with 6:30 left. Bryce Davis gave the Indians a chance at winning the game when he sprinted around the right side into the corner of the end zone to make it 14-8. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs' punt, although batted around the 7 by a Bulldog player, was marked down on the Vidalia half yard line.
The Indians were able to pick up only one first down; and then a penalty pushed them back inside the 10. Bryce Davis’ fourth down pass sailed out of bounds incomplete. ECI killed the last few seconds inside the Indian 10-yard line. Vidalia will attempt to rebound next week as Bleckley County, out of Region 3-AA visits Buck Cravey Field.