Indians Blasted By Royals
A Bleckley County team that played like it was in a boxing ring attacked Vidalia from the opening bell in Saturday’s first round playoff game at Buck Cravey Field.
The Region 2-AA champs were caught off-balance from the first play and never were able to recover in what eventually became a 55-15 route. Bleckley put the Indians on their heels and really only looked back once after taking a 28-0 halftime lead.
If Vidalia had a chance to get back in the game after falling behind so fast, it was after a Jaylin Burns interception set up Bryce Davis’ 37-yard TD pass to Jermar Mack.
The Royals responded with three third quarter touchdowns to put the game out of reach though.
The rain soaked home field, normaily a benefit for the home team, reached up and bit the Indians from the first play, when Indian running back Jaedyn Stanley slipped while cutting in the hole to suffer a 2-yard loss.
The Royals, a bigger team featuring 6’7”, 320-pound UGA commit Amarius Mims, simply pushed smaller bodies aside on the slick turf to open massive holes in the Indian line on both sides of the field.
After Bryce Davis’ first punt, Royals’ running backs Jahron Butler, a 205-pound sophomore, and Chuckie Stephens, a 200-pound senior started their 1-2 punch of attack of downhill runs, all the way down to the Vidalia 10.
The Royals went to the air for the touchdown as QB Dominique Sasser hit Jacob Johnson breaking open at the goal line to give the Royals a 7-0 lead. Placekicker James Fordham kicked the PAT. continued from page
On offense, the Indians had problems blocking the Royal defensive line, in particular senior Willie Harris, a 6’2”, 284 pound tackle. The Royals were also crowding the line of scrimmage with their linebackers. The Indians could get nothing going on the ground. Meanwhile, while Bryce Davis and Jaedyn Stanley couldn’t get anything going, the Royals were scoring two more first quarter TD’s. The first TD, a 1-yard Butler plunge, had been set up by his own 47-yard run behind off left tackle behind the blocking of Sims. The next TD was only a minute later, when Sasser went to sophomore Jayden Mobley on a slant route with only 1:30 left in the quarter. The Indians managed to calm the onslaught until the final minute of the first half, when the tired Indian defense gave up a 13-yard TD run by Butler again with just 13 seconds left in the half.
The Indians showed some fire after kicking to the Royals in the second half when Jaedyn Burns picked off Sasser at midfield and returned to the Royal 37.
On first down, Bryce Davis faded back and hit H-Back Jermar Mack on a seam route. Mack broke away from the tackle attempt of linebacker Scooter Slappy at the 10 and crossed the goal line to put Vidalia on the scoreboard.
The Indian attempt for 2-points was good on a quick pass to Kaylon Johnson to cut the Royal lead to 20 at 28-8 with only a minute and a half gone in the second half.
Whatever aspirations the Indians had of coming back died in the next few minutes of the football game as the Royals answered with three third quarter TD’s of their own.
Starting with another Butler run, this time down the visiting sidelines, for 43 yards and a TD with 8:13 left in the third quarter. The sophomore running back finished with 185 yards on only 11 carries.
His running mate, senior Chuckie Stephens, scored on a 16-yard run with 5:06 left in the third. The extra point was blocked to make the score 41-8. Stephens finished with 73 yards on 14 carries.
Just before the end of the third quarter, Sasser hit Mobley again for 8 yards and another TD to make the score 49-8. Bryce Davis set up a touchdown with his own long run down the sideline before the Vidalia QB fought his way into the end zone from 4 yards out. Tate McDaniel’s lone PAT of the night gave Vidalia its final 15th point.
The Royals scored one more TD, on a 49yard run by diminuitive 5’4” speedster T.J. Mays, only a sophomore, to make the final score 55-15. Mays almost broke the 100 yard barrier on his own, with 99 yards on only 4 carries.
The Bleckley County team that showed up in Vidalia on Friday was much better than the team we saw earlier in the season.
Vidalia improved by leaps and bounds from early in the season to win 7 in a row and the 2-AA title. But the team that they faced on Friday had nearly three weeks since their last game, and I’m pretty sure that every second of that period was spent preparing for the Indians.
On Friday, the Royals were simply the better football team. The elements and all of the calls early also went their way.
I’ve enjoyed watching this team and this bunch of seniors play. Jaelyn Burns deserved to make the All-State team last season. I certainly think he deserves it this season. This has been a high character bunch of young men.
Bryce Davis has already proved that he is one of the best QB’s in school history; and he still has another season to tutor under Cameron and QB coach Ingles.