PREP FOOTBALL: Fumbles plague Eagles, Addison victorious

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ADDISON – It has been said many times before that football is a game of inches. Unfortunately for the Vinemont Eagles, they found this out first-hand when they rolled into A.G. Hicks on the campus of Addison High School to face the Bulldogs. Addison was hungry coming off a season opening, heart-breaking 26-23 loss to Pickens County and Vinemont was chopping at the bit to start their journey back to the 3A playoffs after missing the postseason last year.

 

The Eagles received the ball to open the game and set up shop on the 34 yard like after a short kickoff. To no one’s surprise, Vinemont opened the game with a carry by their workhorse, John-Michael Dye. The star halfback picked up four on his first carry and five on his second before Addison stopped him n on third down.

 

Eagle’s head coach Alan Scott showed tremendous faith in Dye and his offensive e line as he opted to go for it on fourth and one from their own 43 yard line. He was rewarded for the gamble when Dye busted an eight yard run and set the Eagles up in Addison territory for the first time in the night. However Vinemont was only able to pick up two yards with the fresh set of downs and were forced to punt the ball away.

 

Addison was unable to move the ball on their first possession of the game and punted the ball back to Vinemont following a bone jarring sack courtesy of Randall Guthrey.

 

After just a 23 yard punt, Vinemont had the ball on the Addison 41 and were primed to punch it in for the first score of the game, and that is just what they did. Vinemont ran the ball six straight times, five from Dye and the sixth coming from Bo Wright who, following a facemask, gave Vinemont first and goal from the ten. From here Dye did what he does best, run the ball with a smash mouth style and slammed the ball across the goal line from ten yards out. After a missed PAT, Vinemont held a 6-0 lead with 3:26 left in the first stanza.

 

Not to be outdone, Addison answered back in just four plays. The Vinemont defense looked to have the Bulldogs on the ropes when they held them to just a single yard on the first two plays and forced Addison into a third and nine. This is when the Bulldogs went to the air for the first time and John Everett found Kyle Denson for an 18 yard pickup to put the ball on the Vinemont 46. From here, Everett turned and handed the ball to Kolby Kirk who sped down the field for a 46 yard rushing touchdown. Addison added the two point conversion and took an 8-6 lead with 1:50 left in the first.

 

On the next series Vinemont busted a huge run of their own when, on the second to last play of the first quarter, Wright found a seam and broke off a 54 yard run all the way down to the Addison 21 yard line.

 

It took Vinemont just a bit over two minutes to score for the second tome on the night, this time through the air when Wright was on the receiving end of a Garrett Boland 11 yard touchdown pass. The PAT was again no good but Vinemont took a 12-8 lead.

 

This would be the final score of the first half as Addison was turned away twice in the second quarter by the Vinemont defense. The first stop came via Dalton Herfurth who picked off an Everett pass attempt in the front corner of the endzone on first and goal from the four yard line. The second was a collective effort as the defense bent but did not break, forcing an Addison field goal attempt that sailed far right and allowed Vinemont to take the lead to the locker room after the first half of play.

 

Addison set up shop at their own 41 yard line following a Vinemont short kickoff to open the third quarter. Fans were still finding their seats for the second half when Addison took the lead back from Vinemont. A steady diet of run plays led to a Bulldog score. A failed two point conversion moved the score to 14-12 in favor of Addison.

 

Vinemont’s next possession was plagued with miscues as the fumbled three times on four carries, losing the last fumble when Ryan Walker came up with the loose ball for Addison.

 

The Bulldogs did not squander the turnover. Three backs, as well as the QB carried the ball for Addison on their way down the field but the big blow was an Everett pass that found the hands of Devin Marlin, who was wide open down the middle of the field for a 19 yard TD. The Bulldogs again came up short on the two point conversion but distanced themselves from the Eagles a bit, taking a 20-12 lead.

 

Addison, smelling the proverbial “blood in the water”, ratcheted up the defense on the next series. Levi Hammack sacked Boland for a 15 yard loss on first and ten, putting Vinemont in a hole they were unable to crawl out of and eventually forcing a punt. In a fortunate turn of events for the Eagles, Addison muffed the punt and Guthrey was there to fall on it. Three plays later Vinemont put the ball on the ground again but this time it was scooped up by Wright who broke tackle after tackle on his 36 yard trip to the endzone. Dye broke the plane of the goal on the two point attempt, pulling the Eagles even with the Bulldogs, 20-20, with just 20 seconds left to play in the third quarter.

 

Not content to run out the clock and start fresh in the fourth, Denson took the handoff from Everett and raced 61 yards down the field before he was brought down and the Vinemont three yard line.  Four seconds into the fourth quarter, Everett called his own number and breaking through the Vinemont line for the go ahead score. Addison enjoyed a 26-20 lead.

 

As I mentioned before, football is a game of inches and Vinemont came up just a few inches short. From their own 31, Vinemont started a drive in hopes of tying or taking the lead. Dye started the drive with a four yard carry. Boland kept the next snap and rattled off a 38 yard run. Three plays later Vinemont had the ball first and goal form the six but the fumble bug bit the Eagles again as they put it on the ground and Addison fell on the loose pigskin. The Bulldogs then rattled off a 17 play drive that kept the ball out of the hands of the Eagles playmakers. Addison finished the game in a victory formation, kneeling inside the five yard line and letting the final seconds melt off the clock and claiming the 26-20 victory.

 

Addison moves to 1-1 on the year and welcomes Tanner into A.G. Hicks Stadium next week for a 2A Region 6 clash.

 

Vinemont falls to 0-1 and is at home next week as the Danville Hawks make their way into Eagles Stadium.