Vidalia Drops 2-AA Opener
Streaks are supposed to end. Just ask Alabama fans. And on Friday, another football streak came to an end, as one of Jeff Davis’ best teams ever fought off a determined bunch of young Vidalia Indians in Hazlehurst. Vidalia had entered the contest against the Yellow Jackets with a 1-4 record. Jeff Davis, which is now 7-0 and 2-0 in Region 2-AA, had lost to Vidalia every time the schools had played since 1999. The two teams had played 13 times during that time period.
It’s hard not to be proud of the local team though because on this night, the Indians were simply outmanned by a bigger and more experienced football team.
After falling behind early 20-0, the younger team fought back; and midway through the final quarter, had a chance to cut the Jeff Davis lead to a single score. But that drive fizzled out as Bryce Davis’s desperation pass on fourth and goal was intercepted at the goal line. The Yellow Jackets, running from a Wing-T behind a big offensive line, took a 14-0 lead into halftime.
First, sophomore Kiyon Dotson ended the Yellow Jackets’ first possession of the night with a 2-yard dive over the top of a pile into the end zone with 5:17 left in the first quarter.
The Yellow Jackets were penalized twice for illegal procedure on the PAT, and the kick was pulled to the left of the upright to keep the score at 6-0.
Jeff Davis’s second quarter score was courtesy of a 16-yard run by Aahiyus Allen to make it 12-0. Allen also ran in the 2-point conversion to make it 14-0 with 7:01 left in the first half.
A Vidalia drive late in the half stalled out at the Yellow Jacket 17, where Tate McDaniel’s attempted field goal came up a little short after the snap was hard to handle.
The Yellow Jackets threatened to make it a runaway when they forced an Indian fumble on Vidalia’s first possession of the second half and recovered on the Indian side of midfield.
This led to the third Yellow Jacket TD of the night. With the Indians stacking the inside to stop the big Jeff Davis backs, speedy C.J Parker got around the left side of Vidalia’s defense on a reverse play for 23 yards and the touchdown. The 2-point conversion run was no good and the score stayed at 20-0. This is when the Indian offense started to get in gear. Even though this drive ended in an interception, Vidalia did get inside the Yellow Jacket 20. After forcing a short Jacket punt, the Indians drove for their only score. Bryce Davis started hitting sophomore receivers Jacaree Washington and Dugan Johnson with several key passes to set up the score.
Davis found Washington running away from a couple of defenders in the middle of the end zone and drilled a perfect pass snagged by the diving sophomore in the middle of the end zone. Tate Mc-Daniel drilled the PAT to make the score 20-7 with 11:53 left in the game.
After the Jackets were forced to punt, the Indians really threatened to get back in the game, moving from their 12-yard line to a first and goal inside the Jacket 10. It was then that Jeff Davis proved worthy of their #6 ranking. After the last two seasons, the Yellow Jackets wouldn’t let Bryce Davis beat them again. It was obvious that they were keying on the Vidalia QB all night long. When he ran, a couple of defenders were there to push him out of bounds; and on fourth down, they intercepted a Davis pass right on the goal line. Vidalia forced a punt again; but this time the field position reversed, to the Vidalia 6-yard line. On first down, Davis tried to hit Washington on a hitch route, where Jeff Davis safety Kade Harpe saw it coming and intercepted.
A couple of plays later, Kiyon Dobson got his second TD of the night. The PAT was no good to make the final score 26-7. For Vidalia, there were several bright spots. Bryce Davis completed 19-of-31 passes for 213 yards with a touchdown. The Yellow Jackets did intercept three passes, but a couple were desperation throws. Despite being keyed on by the Yellow Jacket defense, Davis still broke a couple of good runs, finishing with 66 yards on 14 carries. Receiver Jacaree Washington had 5 catches for 89 yards and a TD. Dugan Johnson had his best night with 5 catches for 60 yards.
Antonio Barron caught 3 passes for 39 yards before being removed from the game after an injury. Freshman Sam Sapp had 6 solo tackles and an assist. Sophomore Ronald Pointer contributed 5 solos.
The Indians return home for homecoming this Friday night for another Region 2-AA contest, against the East Laurens Falcons.