Vidalia High falls to Mangham, 21-7

Published 2:02 am Saturday, October 28, 2017

On a soggy night, a running back driving straight up the middle averaging 3.77 yards per carry was the difference as Vidalia High School could not keep Mangham High School off the field in a 21-7 loss Friday.

The Dragons’ Donovan Haynes did not break anything wide open, but carried the ball 39 times, typically muddying up his jersey more as he slipped through some tackles en route to 147 yards and helping his team earn 15 first downs.

“It was just a bad day for us from the get-go,” Vidalia High coach Dee Faircloth said. “They (Dragons) have the type of offense where they just grind, grind, grind like a rugby team. It was hard to stop.”

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Meanwhile, Vidalia struggled, in particular during the second half after a more than 40-minute lightning delay soaked the field. The Vikings as a team only totaled 118 yards. The team just had 23 yards in the second half, but Mangham dominated time of possession.

“Our offense, due to the weather could not throw and we became one dimensional,” Faircloth said. “They were loading the box and we could not get anything on the ground.”

Mangham started the scoring early following a turnover. On the first play of the first drive of the game, the Dragons’ Bradley Cleary picked off the Vikings’ Tristan Weatherly’s pass and returned it to the Vikings’ 30-yard line.

A few runs later from Haynes and he was in the end zone with 10:20 left to go in the first quarter. Kolby Poindexter added the extra point with his kick, and it was 7-0 Dragons.

The Vikings also added their only score following a turnover. C.J. Chatman fell on a fumble by Dragons’ quarterback Adam Eley. On the next offensive play, Cam’Ron Randall was in the end zone after finding a hole and taking it 49 yards for score. Leo Lozano tied it up with 1:21 to go in the first quarter on his extra point attempt.

After the rain delay, Haynes would reach paydirt two more times.

With 16 seconds to go in the third quarter, Haynes scored from one yard out and Poindexter made the kick from five yards deeper due to a penalty, making the score 14-7.

The final score came with 6:33 left to go in the game. Haynes again scored from one yard out, though several Vikings players contended he was stuffed at the line of scrimmage and picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct call to give the Dragons an advantage on the next kickoff.

Poindexter added the extra point to make the final score 21-7 as Mangham improved to 7-2 and 6-2 in district.

Despite the loss, Faircloth said he was not worried.

“We have to rebound. We are still in this,” he said. “We are still in the playoffs. We should still host a home playoff game.

“We will come back from this. This team has a lot of spunk.”

The Vikings (7-2, 3-2) travel to face Delhi Charter School in its final District 2-2A game of the regular season next week.