Vidalia coach: We gave up, didn’t come to play
VIDALIA — Vidalia High School couldn’t get any offense going Friday night against Marksville High School as it suffered a tough 60-0 defeat at Dee Faircloth Stadium.
Things were rough from the beginning as Vidalia failed to get a first down on the opening possession before punting, but Marksville came with full force as Josh Bonton led the way with a 37-yard touchdown followed by Jacob Caubarreaux’s extra-point kick for an early 7-0 lead with nine minutes to play in the first.
Bonton carried the ball eight times for 68 yards and two touchdowns for Marksville. Jarius Thompson tallied 78 yards on 10 carries for Vidalia.
The Tigers extended their lead to 14 before the end of the first quarter when Vidalia fumbled at the 45-yard line to give Marksville good field position.
The Tigers capitalized on the opportunity with a 24-yard pass from Josh Batiste to Caubarreaux before Caubarreaux completed the extra-point kick for a 21-0 lead.
Vidalia saw a spark of defense when Adrian Oliver recovered a fumble from a punt return, but the Vikings weren’t able to turn their defense into offense as they turned the ball over on a fourth-down attempt.
Marksville kept the ball on the ground the rest of the half yet managed to score twice more before halftime. The first came from Bonton on a 4-yard drive with Caubarreaux completing the extra-point kick. The last score of the half came on a defensive play from Zondrae Lockwood who recovered Vikings quarterback Jontarrius Townsend’s fumble in the end zone but couldn’t get the extra-point kick.
The Tigers never let up in the second half though they led 34-0 as they scored 26 more points powered by Mark Eldridge’s 45-yard kickoff return to start the half.
Bradley Lemartiniere saw some action as he scored a 25-yard touchdown just moments later at the 10:52 mark.
With the Vikings’ offense struggling to make a play, things got worse as Johnny Anderson suffered a concussion from a head-on collision with a Tiger player and didn’t return to the game. He had 35 rushing yards before leaving the game.
Eldridge made a big play on the defensive end for Marksville as he caught an interception at the Tigers’ 25-yard line.
Frustration kicked in at the 7:46 mark of the third quarter for the Vikings as back-to-back unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were called on both teams. Curtis McNulty was ejected for Vidalia as well as a Marksville player.
Vidalia head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said he wasn’t sure what happened on the ejections.
“I didn’t see what happened,” he said. “But the referee said he kicked kids out because they were fighting.”
Marksville used it as motivation as it scored on the following play with a 43-yard touchdown by Nick Lavalais to extend the lead to 54 before Kewan Houston reached the end zone for the final time in the fourth quarter to end the game 60-0.
Parnham said he feels like there was a lack of effort in the game from his players.
“(Before the game), I told them they need to correct their mistakes,” Parnham said. “But it almost seemed like we gave up.
“They just didn’t come to play.”
Parnham said he would be emphasizing to his team the importance of playing to the end as the players prepare for their last three games of the season trying to break a five-game losing streak.
“I’m going to talk to them about not giving up,” he said.
The Vikings will host Avoyelles High School at 7 p.m. Friday.