Vinson steps up in pocket when needed

Published 12:00 am Monday, September 17, 2012

NATCHEZ — Though it may have been overshadowed by Tanner Cage’s big game for Trinity Episcopal Day School Friday night, Saints quarterback Garrett Vinson continued making strides as he adjusts to the position.

The senior is playing quarterback for the first time this season, and Vinson was a star in his own right for the Saints Friday night, coach Josh Loy said. Vinson was six of seven in passing with 98 yards and two touchdowns.

“We needed him to make some plays in the passing game,” Loy said. “We’re going to need our passing game down the road, and he stepped up and was able to do that.”

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Vinson said the Saints’ strong running game, which finished with 318 yards on the ground, allowed him to get comfortable in the pocket and make plays when needed.

“The run game was where it was at,” Vinson said. “Our line controlled the line of scrimmage. Tanner’s a good back, so we had to give him the ball.”

Cage finished with 192 yards on just eight carries, and Vinson said he’s glad Cage and the other Trinity backs are there with him.

“It’s definitely comforting to know I can hand it to those guys, because they can make a play every time they touch the ball,” Vinson said.

Vinson said he’s definitely improved his passing skills, and small steps are key in his development.

“I just try and get better and better each week,” Vinson said. “The first couple of weeks it was rough, but I’m starting to get the hang of it. I’m getting more comfortable when I drop back.”

Vidalia at Ferriday

ferriday — Vidalia High School and Ferriday High School combined for 406 yards on 75 rushing plays in Friday night’s 20-14 win for the Trojans.

The two rivals played even for most of the game, but Ferriday’s offensive and defensive lines started controlling the game midway through the third quarter.

Ferriday’s defense held Vidalia to just 74 yards rushing on 18 attempts in the second half and the offensive line blocked well enough to spring long runs of 28 yards, 30 yards and a 63-yard touchdown run that ended up being the game winner.

One player for the Trojans who was critical on both sides of the line of scrimmage was senior center and defensive tackle Jaylon Hayes. Hayes finished the game with seven solo tackles and three tackles for a loss and was also pivotal on the key running play that led the Trojans to the win.

“That was a good moment,” he said. “That gave us momentum and confidence that we could win this game and also finish this game.”

Ferriday head coach Cleothis Cummings said he was impressed with the game Hayes had on both sides of the ball.

“He was big,” Cummings said. “He knows how to work hard, and we have to stay on him, because he’s a senior, and we’re hoping for the best from him.”

Hayes said he was happy to help lead the team to get Cummings’ first win as Ferriday’s head coach, and he hopes Friday night’s win was a sign of things to come.

“Now we know what it takes to win,” Hayes said. “We felt like we made mistakes and beat ourselves (the first two games), but it showed us what we need to work on and things we didn’t get right.”