Vidalia blasts Block

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 2, 2006

JONESVILLE &8212; It wasn&8217;t a clinic in football greatness, but it was good enough to get the Vidalia Vikings a win over the Block Bears Friday night.

The Vikings rolled up 236 yards rushing on 44 carries &8212; most of it accumulated by the gritty running of Demack Bates in the 30-13 win.

Block was playing without its starting quarterback, Matt Green, due to a sudden infection of viral meningitis Thursday morning. Junior Evan White was thrown into the fire for his first high school snaps against the Vikings.

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&8220;My hat&8217;s off to that little (Evan White),&8221; said Vidalia head coach Dee Faircloth. &8220;He did a pretty darn good job for them, and I had a situation like that myself once.&8221;

Block head coach Scott Green was also highly complimentary of his first-time starter, who finished 4-of-7 passing for 57 yards with one interception.

&8220;This was the first time he&8217;s taken a snap in a high school game,&8221; Green said. &8220;Matt (Green) took a spinal tap on Thursday morning, so he wound up taking all the reps all week and got sick the last day. Evan did a good job.&8221;

The story of the night, however, was Bates, who carried the ball 32 times for 176 yards and scored three touchdowns.

He opened the scoring with a one-yard plunge late in the first quarter to give the Vikings a 6-0 lead after the two-point try failed.

Block seemed on the verge of driving for a score, but a fourth-down Vidalia stop ended the scoring threat, and then it was more Bates on the next Viking drive.

Five straight carries by Bates got the Vikings inside the 20, and a few plays later he punched it in six plays later to put Vidalia ahead 14-0 heading into the break.

Vidalia&8217;s strong rushing attack was the difference in the game, according to Green.

&8220;Dee&8217;s got so many more boys than us,&8221; he said. &8220;He had a good strategy of just running straight at us all night and then wearing us down. It wasn&8217;t a conditioning issue &8212; it was a numbers issue.&8221;

The Bears did make some noise early in the second half.

A fake punt pass from Jordan Wilson to Garland Edwards picked up 22 yards, and then Martez Tolliver scored on a dazzling 47-yard run to cut the lead in half.

Vidalia answered though on a spectacular escape job by quarterback Brandon Hawkins, who bought enough time to find Beau Doughty all alone at the 10 yard line and then walk into the end zone for a 36-yard touchdown pass.

Bates scored again from one yard out in the fourth to put the game away.

Chase Sharp scored for Block with two minutes left to provide the final score.

Even with the season-opening win, Faircloth still felt the Vikings could have played better.

&8220;We made some dumb mistakes,&8221; he said. &8220;We made some mistakes that were dumb enough to go in the Guinness Book of World Records under dumb mistakes. But we worked through them, and it&8217;s all things we can correct. Block was a gutty little bunch.&8221;

Green credited the Vidalia defense, which held the Bears to only 213 total yards, with causing the many miscues which cost Block the game.

&8220;Their middle linebacker wreaked havoc with us all night,&8221; he said. &8220;He caused a couple of fumbles and was right in the middle of a couple other plays that killed us. It was a tough night, but we&8217;re going to get better.&8221;

Vidalia will travel to University Lab next Friday, while Block will travel to face Ferriday.