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White wins 26-14 in Vidalia spring game

VIDALIA — Saturday’s sunny skies seemed to be a reflection of new Vidalia football coach Gary Parnham Jr.

Following the Vikings’ first Blue and White split-squad spring game in a number of years, Parnham could hardly contain how good he felt about the group he would field this fall.

The White team was the 26-14 victor Saturday, but Parnham said he saw a number of things from both teams that left him encouraged.

I was pleased with how we played today,” Parnham said. “We had some breakdowns, but that’s going to be expected, installing an offense in just four days.

“Everyone played hard, and I can see we’ve got some good skill people, as well as linemen. The bad thing about playing a split squad game is that it weakens you, but between the two we scored 40 points. There’s still plenty to work on, and we ran things pretty vanilla today, but I was very pleased with the team’s work.”

Tri McCoy scored the White team’s first touchdown on a 24-yard carry with 6:27 to go in the first. The Blue team responded when Jamon Duson caught a Caleb Vines 35-yard touchdown pass.

The next White touchdown came on a 60-yard run by Sessions Vestal with 3:27 left in the first.

Blue took a 14-12 lead before the half with a nine-yard run by Dee Fleming with 1:26 left in the second quarter.

The second half was a whiteout at Dee Faircloth Viking Stadium. Aaron Willis scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tucker Bruce in the third quarter, and Thao Nguyen capped things off with a 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth.

Something that was particularly pleasing to Parnham was the amount of depth his team has at running back, he said.

“We have some pretty shifty tailback,” he said. “I’m looking right now, and we’re five or six deep at that position. It’s a pleasant thing knowing that any of those six will get you yards.”

Although he can’t remember the last time Vidalia had a Blue and White game, Parnham said he was happy the players got to see what it was like.

“It was always fun back when I played, and I knew it would be a good experience for them,” Parnham said.

With spring practice behind them, the focus now shifts to a revamped summer workout routine, courtesy of the new head coach.

“We’re going to hit it five days a week,” Parnham said. “We’re going to lift three days a week and run all five days. The players aren’t used to that. Usually we’d just lift three days a week and have them run on their own, but our goal is to get stronger and faster. That’s what we’ve set out to do with this new regimen.”

And senior leadership is going to be vital if the Vikings want to make noise this small. So far, Parnham said he’s seen his upperclassmen rise to that challenge.

“I think our seniors are stepping up. They want to win. They know it’s their year, and they want to go out a winner.”

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