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VHS Drops Another Close One

For the third time in four weeks, the Vidalia Indians fell behind early and then rallied, only to fall short. As a result, the young team now enters week 5 of their season with a 1-3 record. The Indians fell behind by two touchdowns in all three losses, and rallied only to fall short of victory. Here’s hoping for a better start as a 3-1 and much improved Tattnall County team visits “The Reservation” this Friday.

Against Stockbridge, a school with a student body more than double the size of Vidalia’s, the Indians still had opportunities that were missed. The Tigers, who wore basically the same uniforms worn by the Miami Hurricanes, got the game's first break when Vidalia fumbled the opening kickoff at the Indian 37-yard line. After four downs though, the Indian defense had yielded negative yardage, taking over at their own 38. Vidalia then took it to the bigger team, driving inside the Stockbridge 20yard line. The Tiger defense stiffened though, and Tate McDaniel’s 38yard field goal attempt drifted just left of the uprights.

Stockbridge drew first blood, getting the game’s first touchdown on a short 12-yard pass from Cobey Thompkis to Diontre Stone. Jordan Wilson’s PAT kick was no good, and the score remained 6-0 with 11:55 left in the first quarter. Vidalia started their own short drive, moving to midfield; but when going for it on fourth down, the Indians came up just short, and Stockbridge took advantage. The Tigers scored quickly, picking up 6 more points on a 7-yard run by Tugari Meggett. The 2-point conversion failed to keep the score at 12-0 with 7:36 left in the half.

The Indians got back in the game on their first possession of the second half. The Indians, who put good pressure on the Tiger’s punter, forced a short punt after 3 unproductive downs and the Indians had good field position at the Stockbridge 40. The touchdown came quickly when QB Bryce Davis faded back and threw a perfect pass 35 yards downfield where Kaleb Bennett snagged it on the sideline and backed into the endzone to get Vidalia on the board. Mc-Daniel’s PAT was good to make it 12-7 with 10:11 left in the third quarter.

Vidalia missed two opportunities to get on the board when Stockbridge turned the ball over on consecutive possessions. The Tigers started pressuring Davis on almost every play though, and the Indians couldn’t get anything done offensively. The Tigers seemed to put the game away when Isaiah Johnson intercepted a Davis pass and returned it to the Vidalia 20-yard line. Meggett got the scoring honors from 7 yards out, to make it 18-7. Tiger QB Cobey Thompkins then passed to Isaiah Johnson, who batted the ball to himself, for the 2-point conversion to make it 20-7 with 9:23 left in the game.

Vidalia answered back quickly, getting on the board when Davis lobbed a 14-yard scoring pass to Antonio Baron, who was running in the open uncovered inside the Tiger 10-yard line. McDaniel pulled his extra point a little left, and the score remained 20-13. Stockbridge nearly gave up their lead on their next possession. After Trace Thompson sacked the Tiger QB, the Tiger center snapped the ball wide of Thompkins’ head; and the ball rolled into the endzone. A Tiger fell recovered the ball in the end zone to give Vidalia a safety and cutting the lead to 20-15 with 1:44 still left in the game. More importantly, the Indians got great field position when Antonio Baron returned the Tiger free kick all the way to the Stockbridge 20-yard line.

An Indian comeback was not to be on this night though. Davis was sacked three times in a row, moving the Indians back close to midfield. On fourth down, Stockbridge celebrated when a Tiger grabbed a Davis pass out of the air for the interception.

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