Vidalia Indians Fall In Rivalry Game
Courtesy of VHS
It was rivalry week for the Vidalia High School Indians and the Toombs County High School Bulldogs. The two teams met last Friday night on Buck Cravey Field in Vidalia for a game that had big Region implications for both teams. Vidalia played a great game against the #4 ranked team in the state, but a few late turnovers led to a TCHS victory.
Despite Jackson Berry's 256 yards through the air and out gaining Toombs County, the Vidalia Indians fell to their rivals 31-14 Friday night at Buck Cravey Field. The 256 yards was a personal best for the junior quarterback, who was 12 of 19 on the night with a touchdown and an interception. The Indians ended the night with 305 yards despite penalties bringing back several large runs and three sacks.
The Bulldogs took an early 3-0 lead on a 32-yard Field Goal by Braylen Dietrich with 8:56 to go in the opening quarter. Vidalia answered with a 3-yard run by Antonio Barron with 5:00 to go in the quarter. The score was set up by a long pass from Vidalia 21 by Berry to DJ Wallace, who caught the ball at the Toombs 43 and sprinted to the five-yard line. Barron scored three plays later, and following the PAT by Adam Crutchfield, the Indians led 7-3.
The Indian defense held Toombs to a threeand- out, but a 43-yard punt pinned the Indians deep at their 2-yard line. But the Indian offense was not able to move away from the goal line, and on fourth down, with his feet touching the back of the endzone, Lake Wright had his punt blocked, which was recovered in the endzone by a Toombs County defensive player for a touchdown, and following the PAT, Toombs led 10-7 with 45-seconds to go in the opening quarter.
The score remained the same throughout the 2nd quarter, with both offenses having nine-play drives, which resulted in no points. Toombs County did attempt a 38-yard field goal with 5:39 to go in the half, but Dietrich's attempt was pulled left, and the score remained 10-7 at the half.
The 2nd half saw Toombs score on their first possession to take a 17-7 lead with 5:18 to go in the 2nd quarter on an 8-play 61-yard drive, which was capped off by a Dabvn Wadley 8-yard run.
The Indians answered with a score of their own when Berry hit Washington at the Toombs 28-yard line, where the senior broke away from two Bulldog defenders and raced to the goal line, stiff-arming a would-be defender at the 10-yard line and then carrying a defender into the endzone for the score, and following the Crutchfield PAT, the Indians were within three points at 1714.
The Indian's defense then held Toombs to just one first down and force a punt, which bounced off the turf and rolled out to 60 yards, pinning the Indians at their 4-yard line. But again, Berry came up big, with another long pass to get the Indians into Bulldog territory. This time, it was AJ McLendon who caught the ball at the Vidalia 43-yard line and sprinted to the Toombs 43 for a huge first down.
The Indians gained six yards on the next play, setting up a 2nd and four from the Toombs 37-yard line. However, on the next play, Jamarion Phillips took the handoff and pushed ahead to the Toombs 34-yard line and appeared to be down when his back hit the turf, which caused the ball to come loose. A Toombs player picked the ball up and raced to the Vidalia 44yard line where the fumble call stood, and the Bulldogs took possession of the ball.
From there, Toombs took seven plays to put seven more points on the board, on a 12-yard pass from Tj Stanley to Lagonza Heyward to make the score 24-14.
The Indians fumbled the ball on their next possession, which led to the final score of the night, a Wadley 2-yard run to make the final score 31-14.
The Indians put up 309 yards of total yards, with Berry accounting for 256 through the air. Antonio Barron led the Indian receiving corps with 85 yards, D.J. Wallace had 74 yards, McLendon finished with 54 yards and Washington had 43. Jamarion Phillips led the Indians on the ground with 36 yards on 16 carries.
Vidalia finished the regular season with a record of 5-5, and they were 3-3 in Region 3AA. That put the Indians as the #4 seed from the Region heading into the State Playoffs.
The Indians will next play on Saturday of this week in the first round of the GHSA State Playoffs when they travel to Columbus to take on Spencer, with a 1:00 p.m. start time at Odis Spencer Stadium.