Block and Vidalia square off Friday night

Published 10:18 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2007

VIDALIA — One year ago on Sept. 1, the Block Bears could not slow down Vidalia senior running back Demack Bates as he had 176 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ 30-13 win in Jonesville.

That was the beginning of the end of the Scott Green era at Block as the Bears finished 0-10. Benny Vault Jr. was then hired to restore Block’s football program after back-to-back losing seasons.

That task starts Friday at 7 p.m. when Block travels to Vidalia to take on the Vikings.

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“They’re going to be tough,” Vault said. “The team speed that they have on defense, that bothers me. They swarmed the ball (against Delhi Charter School at last Saturday’s Vidalia Jamboree) and they played together as a unit.”

Vidalia head coach Dee Faircloth saw a lot of things during Block’s game against Tensas Parish

“They ran a ball-control offense,” Faircloth said. “Their size and speed are exceptional. They have some good running backs.”

The keys for Vidalia’s defense are controlling Block’s running attack and doing a better job of tackling, especially in the backfield.

Vault said his offense will try to run a few misdirection plays mixed with running the ball up the middle to keep Vidalia’s defense guessing.

“We’re a little bigger than them up front,” Vault said. “We’ve got to play mistake-free football.”

Another thing Vidalia will try to do is simply keeping Block’s offense off the field and run the clock itself.

“They have a big defense and they’re quick and they will hit you pretty hard,” Faircloth said. “It’s going to be interesting.”

Vidalia couldn’t keep that momentum going as the Vikings finished 4-6 overall and missed the Class 2A playoffs despite a second-place finish in District 4-2A. But now Vidalia is in Class 3A and things are looking up.

“LaMack Bates, Demack’s younger brother, Jeremy Randall and Kevin Johnson all ran the ball well. Hopefully, they will continue that.”

“Offensively, they have the little speedy backs. The Johnson kid, he runs real hard,” Vault said. “We’re going to play hard. The big thing is tackling. Just try to get people to the ball.”