Vidalia to play Thursday game

Published 12:54 am Wednesday, September 29, 2010

VIDALIA — If fans show up like usual to Dee Faircloth Viking Stadium at 7 Friday night, they will have missed Vidalia High School’s game — by a full 24 hours.

Instead of Friday night lights, Vidalia will try some Thursday night thunder as the Vikings host Buckeye High School from Deville, La.

Even though there are positives and negatives to playing on a Thursday, Vikings head coach Gary Parnham Jr. said he prefers playing games on Fridays.

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“It’s one less day to practice, and for the players and fans, they still have to get up and go to school or work the next day,” Parnham said.

“The positive is that you get an extra day to recuperate for next week’s game.”

Last year, Vidalia beat Buckeye on the road 6-3, one of the Vikings’ two wins last season. But Parnham isn’t putting much stock into last year’s victory.

“There’s not really any carryover from that. Each year is a new year. A lot of the players that were here last year are playing, but they’ll have new guys stepping in. Every year is a different year,” he said.

Buckeye will bring big, speedy players to the table, and Parnham said his players would have to match Buckeye’s physical style of play.

“We feel good about our chances. I think we might have a little more team speed, but that doesn’t always equal a win,” Parnham said.

Parnham said Buckeye likes to run a lot of option plays on offense, but they can also spread the ball out if they need to. Either way, he said it was a welcome departure from facing another double wing team.

“I was so glad to see that when I looked at the film. I don’t want to say it’s easier to defend, but it’s a lot different than the double wing.”

And the key to stopping it is making sure each player sticks to his assignment, Parnham said.

“Our defensive ends and linebackers will have players they have to stay with. We have to pay attention to detail, because one breakdown makes the option a big play,” he said.

The Vikings dropped to 0-4 last week in a loss to Avoyelles High School, but Vidalia showed great improvement from previous games, Parnham said.

“I thought we improved a great deal. The kids got after it and played hard most of the ball game, which is different from what we were seeing,” he said.

“I felt like we could have won the game if some things had gone differently. We seem to get snakebit by penalties in key situations, but if we can continue to improve, we’ll be OK.”

Being back home after two weeks on the road also helps, Parnham said.

“It’s a lot more fun to play at home. You don’t have to worry about travel and getting everything ready to go,” he said.

Kickoff at Vidalia will be at 7 p.m. Thursday.