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|Vikings get district win at Buckeye|
Don't put a fork in those Vikings yet.
After dropping their first four games, including a first-ever loss to district doormat Avoyelles, Vidalia High used its blitzing defense to defeat Buckeye 6-3 Thursday in Deville.
"The kids did good," said Vidalia coach Dee Faircloth. "They played lights out on defense. We stopped them five times inside the red zone. That was a win we had to have."
Actually, the Vikings picked up a pair of wins as Block was forced to forfeit its win over Vidalia in the opening week for using an illegal player, making the Vikings 2-3 on the season.
The game Thursday was known as the "Squirrel Bowl" because it is always played before the opening of squirrel season.
Vidalia got all the points it needed on its first drive as Caleb Vines found a wide-open Gary Stewart on fourth-and-18 at the Panther 30-yard line.
"We just had Gary run a post route because we didn't think they could cover him," Faircloth said.
Buckeye (2-3 overall, 1-1 in District 3-3A) was unable to take advantage of ideal field position throughout the game as Vidalia's defense and its own penalties (9-95) kept the Panthers out of the end zone.
Buckeye kept Vidalia backed up on its own end of thefield most of the night, as Vidalia's offense started inside its 10-yard line several times.
After keeping the Panthers out of the end zone in the first half, stopping Buckeye inside the Viking 25-yard line, Buckeye continued to threaten in the second half.
Early in the third quarter, quarterback Jacob Carter connected with Justin Jenkins on a 42-yard catch and run, advancing Buckeye to the Vidalia 20, but the Viking defense, led by Joe Williams' 13 tackles, stiffened.
"We made some changes on defense," Faircloth said. "We moved John Brixey to end, Heath White to defensive end and Seth Barlow to safety and brought in ninth-grader Dylan King at noseguard and he was in their backfield on the first play."
The Panthers' only score came on a 22-yard field goal by Jack Drinkwater late in the third quarter, after moving down to the Vidalia 9-yard line.
Quan Riley returned the ensuing kickoff 30 yards to the Vidalia 40-yard line and Vidalia ate some time off the clock before turning it over on downs at the Panther 20-yard line.
"I knew we had to get it out of there," Fairclose said.
Buckeye marched to the Vidalia 6 after a 25-yard run by Jake Thompson and a 15-yard catch by Justin Jenkins.
But penalties struck again, and the Panthers turned the ball over on downs.
Vidalia faced a fourth-and-one at the Buckeye 35 and Vines got the first down on a quarterback sneak, dragging Panther players 10 more yards.
"I told them if we didn't make that first down we didn't deserve to win," Fairlcoth said. "Then I kept yelling at Caleb to go down after he made the first down. There were six guys pulling on him and they wouldn't blow the whistle. I almost ran out there myself and jumped on him."
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