Indians Fall In Season Opener
Courtesy of VHS
The Vidalia High School Indians 2023 Football season got off to a shaky start as they dropped the season opener to South Effingham 21-15 Friday night in Guyton.
The Indians fell behind on the opening drive of the night as the Mustangs took it 69 yards in 16 plays, with Gannon White taking it in on a 2-yard score to give South Effingham the lead 7-0. The drive took over 7 minutes off the clock, giving Vidalia the ball back with less than 3 minutes to go in the 1st quarter.
The Indians weren’t able to put any points on the board during the drive and had to give the ball back to the Mustangs with over 8 minutes to go in the half, but the Indians were able to get a stop on defense and got the ball back with plenty of time left in the half.
This time the Indian offense was able to cash in with points when they went on a 9-play drive of their own, which was capped off on a Jamarion Phillips 1-yard TD, to make it 7-6. Sensing that the game could come down to a one-score game and knowing his team would receive the 2nd half kick, Coach Rodney Garvin rolled the dice and went for two, with Phillips getting the two-point conversion and giving the Indians their first lead of the night 8-7, with just under a minute to go in the half.
In the second half, the Indians could not take advantage of good field position on their first possession due to some untimely and long penalties. South Effingham got their go-ahead score on a 4th and two from the Indian 30-yard line when Kaden De Genaro called his own number and took it in for the score to make it 14-8, following the PAT.
The Indians answered right back on a swing pass from Jackson Berry to Antonio Barron, who sprinted 62 yards for the score successful PAT by Adam Crutchfield, Vidalia held the lead 15-14.
That lead was short-lived, as the Mustangs drove and scored the go-ahead TD on the most controversial play of the night. On a 3rd down and medium yards to go, Mustangs quarterback Kaden De Genaro handed the ball off to DaMyon McFarlin, who took the ball 30 yards for what looked like a score.
But the Mustang senior dropped the ball going into the endzone at the one-yard line. The ball appeared to go into and through the side of the endzone, which would have given the ball to the Indians on their 20-yard line. However, a trailing official ruled the ball had gone out on the 1-foot line, giving the ball back to South Effingham, who scored the game-winner when De Garno kept the ball for the short score to make it 21-15.
The Indians on the night were held to 183 yards of offense, while South Effingham racked up 322 yards, with 286 of that coming on the ground.
The Indians will jump back into competition Friday night when they host Beach High School at Buck Cravey Field. Game time is 7:30 p.m., with the Warpath beginning at 6:15 p.m.