Vidalia wins season opener in penalty-filled match with Sicily Island

Published 11:42 pm Friday, August 31, 2018

The Vidalia Vikings came out with a win in its season opener Friday over Sicily Island, but mentally, coach Dee Faircloth said it felt more like a loss.

Vidalia took down the Tigers 34-7, but Faircloth said he wasn’t happy to see so many miscues.

“That was terrible. I feel like I got beat 34-7,” Faircloth said. “We just did things we shouldn’t be doing — running our mouth, making penalties.”

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The Vikings committed a total of 90 yards in penalties on the night, robbing them of a handful of long gains through the game. They didn’t rush for more than 10 yards on one play until Cam’Ron Randall found the end zone on a 25-yard run just 30 seconds before halftime.

The Vikings trailed, too, until Randall’s score.

Sicily Island struck first after Viking quarterback Tristan Weatherly fumbled on Vidalia’s first drive. Jonavian Tolliver nearly took the ball to the house after a 38-yard return, yet the Tigers scored two plays later on a 17-yard pass to Keonte Dunbar from Tyreke Tolliver.

The Vikings responded with a 3-yard touchdown run from Weatherly, but the extra point kick failed as the Tigers hung on to a 7-6 lead.

“We have a lot of potential,” Sicily Island coach Donald Money said about his team’s fast start. “We have some really good kids. We just don’t have a lot of them.”

Money said the size differential is ultimately what got to his team.

By the second half, as the Vikings scored all three times on each of their possessions, the Tigers were visibly exhausted from using players on both offense and defense.

“That’s exactly what I was hoping didn’t happen, but it did,” he said. “They are in good shape, but for the long haul against a team like this, it’ll wear you out.

“But, I was proud of them — the defense especially.”

Faircloth said moving forward, he is confident the Vikings will see the volume of their mistakes.

“We will get better, I promise you,” he said. “We will clean up some stuff. It just disappointed me because my ball clubs don’t do that kind of stuff.”

De’Vonte Loyd and Jared Simpson each caught touchdown passes from Weatherly in the win, while C.J. Chatman scored on a fumble recovery in the end zone to round out the scoring for Vidalia. Weatherly ended 17-of-24 passing with 173 yards and no interceptions.

Vidalia’s Dylan Troxler was 4-for-5 on extra points.

The Vikings (1-0) will remain at home next week when they host Delhi High, while Sicily Island returns home to host Block.