° empty

Young Vikings help in first win since 2010

VIDALIA — Vidalia High School freshman quarterback Jonterrius Townsend was not around last season to suffer through a 0-10 season like many of the Viking upperclassmen.

But Townsend said it was just as special to help his older teammates get their first victory since 2010 last Friday.

“It felt great to just be another younger player stepping up to help us win,” Townsend said.

Senior tight end Garrett Rehms was there for last year’s pain, and he said Friday’s win felt good, and he is happy with Townsend’s performance.

LAUREN WOOD / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Vidalia High School freshman Jonterrius Townsend carries the ball during Friday’s game against Baker High School. Vidalia defeated Baker, 10-7, for their first win since 2010.

“He’s stepped up a lot,” Rehms said. “He’s done what he needed to do.”

Rehms also credited freshmen Cole Cangemi and Curtis McNulty for playing well this season.

Townsend got the starting quarterback job after Michael Whitley was forced out of the lineup for a few weeks due to injury. Head coach Gary Parnham said Townsend still has a long way to go, but he has been impressive as a freshman.

But Parnham said he does not want Vidalia’s 10-7 victory over Baker High School to be the highlight of the 2012 season.

“The thing is, we still have work to do,” he said. “There are mistakes that we have to eliminate. This win helped take the monkey off our back, but we are not done. We are not satisfied.”

Vidalia will take aim at its second victory of the season Friday when it hosts Jena High School.

Jena is physical with a lot of speed at the skill positions, Parnham said. They run the double-wing offense, which Parnham said would be tough on the Vikings’ defense.

“They are a good football team and are well-coached,” Parnham said. “But I would take my kids any day of the week. If they play the way they are capable of playing we can compete with anybody.”

Friday’s game will be the Vikings first in District 3-3A.

Vidalia (1-4) will host Jena (4-1) at 7 p.m. Friday.