Vikings start slow, finish fast

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 2, 1999

VIDALIA, La. – It took Vidalia High’s high-octane offense a little while to get in gear, but once it did there was no time for pit stops as the Vikings rolled past Jonesboro-Hodge 42-6 Friday for homecoming.

Vidalia went three plays and out in its first possession and then the Tigers (1-4) marched 54 yards on 14 plays with Riccardo Mills passing17 yards to Alex Brown for the first score of the game. The conversion kick was low.

Vidalia, 4-1, failed to move it on its next possession.

Email newsletter signup

The Viking defense recovered a fumble at the Tiger 42.

A 12-yard pass from Jarrett Hoffpauir to Chris Kennedy keyed a nine-play drive which ended with Dariel Mays going in from four yards out. The conversion failed, leaving the score at 6-6 with 5:34 remaining in the first half.

Kennedy’s reception was a thing of beauty as the senior stretched out and caught the ball on his fingertips.

&uot;Our running game wasn’t working too well, so I knew we needed something,&uot; Kennedy said.

Neither team moved the ball the remainder of the period until Vidalia got possession at its 24-yard line.

Mays carried the ball for 12 yards and then the leading rusher in Louisiana (950 yards) caught a screen pass from Hoffpauir and carried it 64 yards to paydirt with 27 seconds remaining. Hoffpauir passed to Kennedy for the two-point conversion.

&uot;They were keying on me and it got a little frustrating,&uot; said Mays, who finished with 118 yards on 19 carries. &uot;But we all just kept working hard.&uot;

The second half was all Vidalia.

&uot;They were some big boys,&uot; chimed Vidalia offensive tackles Eddie Jester and Jason Jordan.

&uot;But we got our tails chewed out at halftime,&uot; Jester said. &uot;We started driving off the ball a lot more. &uot;We were picking up their stunts.&uot;

&uot;We did a whole lot better the second half,&uot; Jordan added. &uot;We started driving off the ball a lot more.&uot;

Ryan Boles recovered a Tiger fumble at the Jonesboro-Hodge 44 and on the Vikings’ next play, Mays spurted up the middle untouched for the score. Hoffpauir ran in the conversion for a 22-6 advantage.

A high snap from center on a Tiger punt led to Vidalia’s next score as the Vikings took possession at the J-H 15. Five plays later, Hoffpauir pushed it in from one yard out. Mays added the run for a 30-6 advantage.

A 31-yard pass from Hoffpauir to Kennedy to the Tiger 3-yard line set up the next score as Mays went in from three yards out. The conversion failed with 1:13 remaining in the third quarter.

An interception by Adam Probst and 30-yard run by Hoffpauir set up Vidalia’s final score as Leren Curry took it in from two yard out with 8:03 remaining. The kick failed.

The Viking defense held J-H to 200 total yards, 70 in the first half.

&uot;We finally got pressure on the quarterback,&uot; said Vidalia head coach Dee Faircloth, whose team had three sacks and several near-sacks. &uot;Up until now we’ve only had three sacks, which is unheard of at Vidalia.

Vidalia did not have a penalty or fumble in the contest.

The Vikings open district play at Block next Friday.

&uot;We’re hitting on all cylinders pretty good right now,&uot; Faircloth said. &uot;We just have to keep it going. It’s not going to get any easier. All the fun is over, it’s time to get to working harder.&uot;