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|Vidalia ends season with win|
One year after falling to Bolton in overtime to miss the playoffs, Vidalia High returned the favor, defeating the Bears 40-28 Thursday at Dee Faircloth Viking Stadium.
The 40 points were the most points Bolton gave up this season. Alexandria Senior High scored 37 against the Bears in a 37-14 win.
The most points Bolton gave up in district prior to the Vidalia game was 28 points to Marksville.
Bolton finished 3-7 overall and 2-3 in district.
The win finishes Vidalia's year at 4-5 and 3-2 in District 3-3A, tied with Marksville for second place.
Buckeye finished unbeaten in district and is the lone team from the district to make the playoffs.
Vidalia, which was seeded No. 47 in the playoffs two weeks ago, finished as the No. 34 team in Class 2A. The top 32 make the playoffs. Bolton was rated No. 36 before the Vidalia game and likely would have gotten in with a win. Vidalia moved up from 41 to 34 with the win over Bolton.
"It's all our fault because we could have been co-district champs," said Vidalia coach Dee Faircloth, whose team led Buckeye 20-0 before falling 27-20.
"But these last two games (Avoyelles and Bolton) give me a better feeling about the year, especially the last game," Faircloth said. "This was the funniest team in that you never knew how they would show up to play. But I am proud of the way they closed it out Thursday."
Vidalia scored on its opening drive, going 65 yards on 13 plays.
Two passes from Caleb Vines to Tri McCoy to start the series covered the first 22 yards.
Vines passed for more than 100 yards in the first half for the third straight week.
Kevin Johnson got eight of the next 10 carries. On fourth and two at the Bolton 5-yard line, Johnson lose the ball, but Quan Riley recovered at the Bear 1-yard line for the first down.
Two plays later, Vines went in on a quarterback sneak to put the Vikings up. The conversion failed as the Vikings ate up more than seven minutes on the clock.
Bolton moved down to the Vidalia 17-yard line after a kickoff return to the Viking 27, but on fourth-and-three, Dee Fleming tackled Bolton's Zeke Johnson in his own backfield for a loss. A short punt gave the Bears the ball back at the Vidalia 24-yard line.
Three plays later, Johnson scored on a 5-yard run and Justin Burke added the kick for a 7-6 Bolton lead.
Vidalia regained the lead midway through the second period as the Vikings went on a 68-yard scoring drive with Johnson scoring from 14 yards out. The conversion failed.
A 19-yard pass from Vines to Reggie Reynolds with 1:10 remaining in the first half gave Vidalia the ball at the Bear 27-yard line.
Two plays later, Vines found Riley in the flats on a 28-yard scoring pass play. The conversion failed leaving Vidalia with a 18-7 lead.
Vines completed 9-of-15 passes for 185 yards.
Burke attempted a 32-yard field goal with six seconds remaining that was no good, leaving Vidalia with a 13-point lead at halftime.
Bolton cut the Vidalia lead to 18-13 midway through the third period on a 1-yard run by Johnson.
Vidalia went up 24-13 with 4:19 remaining in the third period as Johnson scored on a 5-yard run that was set up by a 17-yard run by McCoy. Johnson, who finished with 160 yards on 30 carries, ran in the conversion to put the Vikings up 24-13.
In the strangest play of the night late in the third period, Burke attempted a 32-yard field goal that was short that McCoy caught at his 1-yard line and was returning down the Viking sideline with no Bears close when the whistles blew.
After a conference, it was ruled the officials blew the whistle because they thought McCoy was in the end zone and gave Vidalia the option to taking the ball on their 1-yard line or letting Bolton attempt another field goal.
Vidalia took the ball and moved to its 10 before being forced to punt.
Bolton moved down the field quickly as Johnson scored on a 10-yard run and Albert Freeman passed to Johnson on the conversion to bring the Bears to within 24-21 with 10:34 remaining.
Vidalia moved the ball to the Bolton 31-yard line, where a fourth down pass from Vines to McCoy was right at the first down mark, but officials ruled it short without a measurement and Bolton took over.
Vidalia got the ball back, but a fumble led to a 32-yard run by Johnson to put Bolton up 28-24 with the conversion kick.
"I was thinking here we go again," Faircloth said.
A 42-yard pass from Vines to Fleming gave Vidalia possession on the Bolton 7-yard line with 5:12 remaining.
"I felt like Dee could get open on that play," Faircloth said.
Facing fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line, Vines pitched the ball to Johnson as he was being hit and Johnson went into the end zone to give the Vikings a 32-28 lead with 3:16 remaining.
"They were jamming up the inside, so we gave it to our best ballcarrier to see how many he could run over outside and he did," Faircloth said.
Vidalia put the ball away on Bolton's next possession as Lemack Bates intercepted a pass and returned it 51 yards for the score. Johnson ran in the conversion.
Robert Jenkins intercepted a pass and the Vikings ran out the clock to end the game.
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