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Indians Nip Bulldogs 39-36 In Overtime Classic

Indians Nip Bulldogs 39-36  In Overtime Classic Indians Nip Bulldogs 39-36  In Overtime Classic

Vidalia quarterback Bryce Davis’ 12-yard scamper and dive at the pylon in the West endzone on the visitor’s side at Buck Cravey Field was an incredible way to end what was an incredible game. Davis’ run, on a third-and-7, started with a couple of broken tackle attempts before he broke outside to the sideline and outran all of the pursuit to the goalline.

The Vidalia junior finished his night with 133 yards on the ground on 33 carries and scored the winning touchdown on the last play of the game.

He also hit 7 of his 16 passes for 125 yards and 3 TD’s. To say that Toombs County was keying on the junior quarterback would only be stating the obvious.

Toombs County QB Chandler Lynn was the best QB that the Indian defense has faced so far this season, and he just as easily could have walked off the field the winner on this night.

The 180-pound senior had 190 yards passing and also threw for 3 TD’s. Lynn also contributed with a couple of very good kickoff returns that gave the Bulldogs short fields to drive.

The Indians’ 39-36 victory over their archrivals also gave them, at least temporarily, the lead in Region 2-AA.

After dropping their first two games of the season, the Indians have won five in a row to improve to 5-2 overall, and at 3-0 in the Region, and are the only unbeaten team in what is turning out to be a very balanced Region.

Both teams moved the ball on their first possessions; but then turned the ball over. Vidalia by fumble and Toombs by Antrevion Williams leaping interception of Lynn’s pass.

It didn’t take Toombs long to dent the scoreboard though. Lynn hit Tyler Heath, who was covered tightly by two Indians, for 18 yards and a touchdown. Heath caught the ball while he was falling in the back corner of the endzone.

Vidalia responded on their next drive; and overcame a holding penalty in the process. Due to the penalty and a sack, Davis and his team were 4th and 22 at the Bulldog 32.

Davis dropped back and threw a perfectly placed ball that was snagged by Josh Mincey in the end zone 2-yards from the flag on the goal line with 1:51 left in the first quarter.

The Indians, lining up in their ‘swinging gate’ formation, tossed a quick pass out to Antrevion Williams when a referee’s whistle suddenly blew. Both Indians and Bulldogs stopped in midstride. For some reason, the 2-point conversion was ruled no good. continued from page

The score remained 7-6.

Both teams scored in the second quarter. First, Vidalia’s Davis punted Toombs dead inside the Bulldog 7. A block in the back moved the ball inside the 3.

After a three-and-out, Lynn was basically punting from the boundary in the back of the endzone. The result, a 23-yard punt to the Bulldog 24. After a penalty, Davis went to Mincey again at the flag for 33 yards and the touchdown. McDaniel’s extra point made it 13-7 with 6:44 left in the half.

Toombs County answered though, running off most of the rest of the first half clock and scoring when Lynn hit Heath, who was running wide open on a 13-yard slant pass with just 26 seconds left to tie the game 13-13.

Both bands, performing for their first times this season put on great shows and performed a finale that featured the big American flag donated by the American Legion several years ago. It was a fitting performance.

After halftime, the Indians immediately forced a Bulldog punt and drove 80 yards to score, again by the passing route. This time, Davis dropped and let tight end Jermar Mack break open over the middle, lofting the ball just over the hands of a Bulldog linebacker into Mack’s hands in the end zone. McDaniel’s PAT made the score 20-13 with 4:40 left in the third quarter. Toombs rallied quickly though, striking via a big play by D.J. Mincey. Lynn found his running back running free over the middle and Mincey sprinted the rest of the 42 yards to the end zone. Marin-Vital's kick tied the game at 20-20 with 1:58 left in the third quarter.

Both teams threatened in the fourth quarter; but could only manage clutch field goals by McDaniel and Marin-Vital to send the game to the extra periods tied at 23- 23.

The Indians won the toss and elected to go on defense first. Starting at their 15 yard line, Toombs drove to a first down, but then were slowed by Vidalia’s defense. On fourth and goal from the 1 though, Mincey broke over left tackle for the score, giving Toombs a 30-23 lead.

Vidalia answered. After a couple of strong runs by Jaedyn Stanley, Davis dove into the end zone. McDaniel’s kick tied it at 30-30 sending the game to a second overtime.

Both defenses came up big in the next OT period, holding both teams to field goals. Both kickers were clutch again, with McDaniel good from 27 yards and Marin-Vital good from 37 yards. Vidalia’s defense set up Davis’ heroics when Toombs failed to move the ball again. Marin-Vital was good again from 28 yards out to give his team a 36-33 lead. That’s when Davis, on third-and-7, ran right, bounced of a couple of tackle attempts and raced to the corner. That play sent Vidalia fans home happy. But for this game, there were no losers. Both quarterbacks went down, and both got up to finish this game. There were harder hits than I’ve seen all season.

Both defenses played their hearts out. It was something in this crazy year of 2020 that we needed. What an incredible game.

For the quarterback comparison Davis rushed for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns on 33 carries, passed for 125 yards and 3 touchdowns and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime.

Lynn was 15-of-25 passing for 194 yards and 3 touchdowns, rushed for 92 yards on 16 carries, returned 3 kickoffs for 114 yards, made 9 tackles and defended 2 passes.

The Indians will travel to Alma for another crucial contest with Bacon County, which beat East Laurens 35-14. The Red Raiders have their best team in a while, with two quarterbacks who can both cause defenses problems.

Mason Mikell, 6’3”, 185 pounds, and Terriyon Moore, 6’4”, 220, both provide problems for defenses. Moore also plays tight end and catches his fair share of passes. Toombs County will host always tough Swainsboro in Lyons in The Pit on Friday. Toombs is now 5-3 on the season, but are must 1-2 in Region play.

Both games this Friday will kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Toombs County’s D.J. Mincey finishes his 42-yard catch of a Chandler Lynn pass after avoiding a tackle attempt by Vidalia safety Antrevion Williams near the Indian goal line. Mincey’s touchdown, late in the third quarter, tied the game at 20-20.Photo by John W. Conner

Vidalia defenders gang up to bring down Toombs County running back Brannon Usher. Friday’s game may have been the best and most exciting contest in the history of the rivalry between the two local schools.Photo by John W. Conner

Toombs County’s Julian Marin-Vital kicks the second of two overtime field goals to give his team a 36-33 lead.Photo by John W. Conner

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