Faircloth leading Vidalia Vikings on roll

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 27, 2017

In its past four seasons, Vidalia High School has won seven games. This year, it has a chance to surpass that.

Since coming back to serve as head coach, Dee Faircloth has led the Vikings (7-1, 3-1) to a speedy recovery.

“It has really surprised me to be at this point this quick. These kids are hungry,” he said. “I said it would take a couple years to get back where we were, but now we are ahead of schedule.”

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The Vikings are looking for their eighth win this season as they host Mangham (6-2, 5-2) at 7 p.m. tonight.

A graduate of Mangham High, Faircloth said he doesn’t expect an easy matchup.

“It’s going to be tough. Mangham has a good ball club,” he said. “They have been to the (Super)dome recently for three years in a row. Even though they lost all three, that’s incredible. It’s a great tradition up there.

“Luckily, they don’t throw much and our strong suit is rush defense. We have to control their running game.”

Vidalia is coming off a win over LHSAA Class 4A Tioga, 26-20.

Faircloth said while the win definitely made a statement, the Vikings left something on the field.

“We actually didn’t play really well,” he said. “We had two blocked punts, two extra points blocked and threw a pick-six.”

While working on fixing its mistakes, Faircloth said Vidalia — currently ranked No. 4 in the latest LHSAA Class 2A power ratings — has a chance to do something special in its quick turnaround.

“These next two games are very important for seeding (in the playoffs),” he said. ‘We have a shot to still be the (shared) district champion, and that hasn’t happened since 2004.

“It feels good to see the kids smiling and having fun. We are not there 100 percent, but we are getting close.”