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Vikings not looking to lay down in final game

VIDALIA — It’s the final week of the season for Vidalia High School, but head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said there will be no letting up for his players.

“We’re just fighting until the end,” Parnham said. “We’re trying to get everyone playing time and get them a little experience for next year.”

With the Vikings (2-7, 0-4) set to take on Buckeye High School (6-3, 3-1), Parnham said his team still has one more opportunity to end the season on a high note.

“We’re just going to do the best we can,” Parnham said. “We’re aren’t going to change anything. We’re averaging about 150 yards on the ground, and there are some things we can take advantage of (against Buckeye). We won’t lay down for them.”

Parnham also pointed to quarterback J.T. Townsend having almost 1,000 yards rushing on the season as a rally point for the rest of his teammates.

“It’s an extra incentive for them to play hard,” Parnham said.

At the same time, Parnham said he realizes going up against Buckeye will be a tall task for his team, given the strength of the Panthers in the trenches.

“They might be the best team in the district, to be honest,” Parnham said. “They’re big as a house, and they’re well-coached and play hard. They lost to Caldwell 22-20 on the road, and that easily could have been different.

“We haven’t seen an offensive line that big in years across the board, and those guys can move. They’re not just big bodies.”

One issue the Vikings have been fighting all season is depth, Parnham said. He estimated that his squad is currently playing 24 players, well below the average of an LHSAA Class 3A school.

“We’ve had several injuries and some kids who decided (football) wasn’t for them,” Parnham explained. “Our numbers aren’t really good, and it affects you big time. Depth is key, and if a couple of more guys get hurt, we could be in big-time trouble. It makes things really difficult, but we’ve had some guys step up, and that’s all you can ask.”

Parnham said he was happy with his team’s resiliency this season.

“We’re young, and we’ve had a lot of freshmen playing,” Parnham said. “But they play hard and stay after it. We haven’t seen them quit.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. Friday at Buckeye.