PREP FOOTBALL: Addison leaps past Vinemont on the road

Addison’s Luke Chambers (8) hurdles a defender during the Bulldogs’ 21-6 win at Vinemont. (Martha Needham for The Cullman Tribune)

VINEMONT, Ala. – A packed house filled Eagle Stadium to watch the 2A Addison Bulldogs (3-2) face the hometown 3A Vinemont Eagles (2-2).  This was the 30th meeting between the two teams in a series that Addison has controlled recently.

Vinemont received the opening kickoff and on its first play from scrimmage, quarterback Jack Hill was hit and fumbled the ball which was recovered at the Vinemont 26-yard line by the Dawgs.

Vinemont’s defense stood up and a few plays later, Bryce Perkins intercepted Addison quarterback Christian Roberts’ pass at the goal line. Perkins returned it to the Vinemont 42-yard line.

After an exchange of possessions, neither team being able to move the ball consistently against either defense, Addison took over at its own 43-yard line.  Addison running back Caleb Crider, built like Jerome Bettis, took over and gained 22 yards on three straight carries, bullying over Eagle defenders. Roberts finished off the drive with a nice 25-yard run around left end. The 2-point conversion was good and at the 1:37 mark of the first quarter Addison led 8-0.

Vinemont answered the challenge and mounted its best drive of the game so far. Vinemont’s drive started at its own 35-yard line and it started with a really nice pass of 21 yards from Hill to diminutive wide out Teague Whatley down to Addison’s 44-yard line. Then the Eagle coaching staff turned the ball over to their all-everything back Dallin Dinkle and told him, “Carry us home.” Dinkle responded to the challenge and rumbled for 44 yards on six straight carries. Nice blocking by the Eagle line and some nifty Dinkle footwork allowed Dinkle to take it home from 5 yards out. The Eagle 2-point conversion was no good and Addison led 8-6 with 10:39 to play in the second quarter.

The rest of the first half consisted of the Bulldogs and Eagles defenders punishing the opposing offenses, not allowing either team to get into any type of rhythm and the half ended with Addison maintaining a hard-fought 8-6 lead.

The second half started with Vinemont attempting to catch the Bulldogs napping with an onside kick, but the Bulldogs recovered at their own 47. Facing a third down and 3 from the Vinemont 34-yard line, Addison’s Grant Rice lost the ball and it was recovered by Vinemont’s you know who, Mr. Dinkle.

After forcing a Vinemont punt, which Addison’s Rice returned 29 yards to the Vinemont 36-yard line, the Dawgs struck quickly. It took Addison four plays to cover that distance with running back Sage Smothers finishing the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. Eli Howse kicked the extra point and Addison led 15-6 at the 7:32 mark of the third quarter.

Vinemont attempted to answer but on a third-and-10 play, Hill was intercepted by Xavier Barley.

Addison couldn’t do anything with the ball and was forced to punt. Vinemont was then forced to punt from deep inside its own territory and Addison took over again at the Vinemont 40-yard line, looking to put a dagger in the Eagles’ heart. Addison then faced a fourth-and-1 from the Eagle 31-yard line and the Vinemont defense came up huge. Rice attempted to get the yard up the middle, but the entire Eagle defense stood up and held Rice to no gain.

Vinemont had trouble moving the ball all night against the Dawgs defense and was forced to punt after another three-and-out.

Addison finished off the scoring with Crider breaking at least five tackles during his 35-yard touchdown run. The 2-point conversion was no good and at 8:02 of the fourth quarter, Addison led 21-6.

The Eagles then turned the ball over to Mr. Hill’s solid arm and he responded by driving the Eagles down to the Bulldog 9-yard line. Hill completed several nice passes to Dinkle, Gabe Frederick and Whatley but on a fourth-and-goal from the 9-yard line, Hill was intercepted by Cannon Hiller in the end zone and Addison took over and ran the clock out after that.

This ended the game with Addison earning a hard fought 21-6 win over a very game Vinemont Eagle football team.

Both teams played excellent defense and really made the opposing offenses fight for every yard.

The unofficial team stats for the game are as follows: Addison rushed the ball 48 times for 289 yards and completed three passes for 36 yards. Addison’s total was 62 plays for 325 total yards. Addison had five penalties and two turnovers.

Vinemont rushed the ball 31 times for 102 yards and completed eight passes for 101 yards. Vinemont’s total was 46 plays for 203 total yards. Vinemont had six penalties and three turnovers.

All in all, the fans were treated to an old-fashioned ballgame with two teams playing solid defense and the offenses were rush-oriented.

Addison 4-2 (1-1 region) hosts Colbert County 5-1 (3-0 region) next Friday while Vinemont 2-3 (1-1 region) travels to a very tough Fultondale 3-1 (3-0 region) team.  Both games are region showdowns.

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