PREP FOOTBALL: Miller to Miller touchdown lifts Eagles over Locust Fork in final seconds

Vinemont’s Colby Miller (8) runs back an interception during the Eagles’ 42-35 win over Locust Fork. (Nick Griffin for The Cullman Tribune)

VINEMONT, Ala. – It was homecoming night for the Vinemont Eagles, who hosted the Hornets of Locust Fork, and the Eagles came out on top in a thrilling back-and-forth affair. It was also a huge region victory for Vinemont.

Both teams went three-and-out to begin the game and the Hornets’ second possession was cut short when Colby Miller intercepted a pass. On the next play from scrimmage, Dallin Dinkle raced 40 yards to the end zone to put the Eagles up 8-0 with 7:29 left in the first quarter. On the ensuing possession, the Eagle defense forced another turnover when Dinkle knocked the ball loose on a sack and Teague Whatley recovered to give the ball back to the Eagle offense. Four plays later, Miller scampered for an 8-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up 14-0 with 4:24 remaining in the opening quarter. The Hornets answered with a lengthy drive to cut the lead to 14-7 with 40 seconds still remaining in the opening half and the teams headed to the locker room with Vinemont on top 14-7.

Vinemont received the second-half kickoff and quickly added to its lead when, on the second play of the possession, Dinkle raced 67 yards and put the Eagles up 20-7 with less than a minute played in the third quarter. The Hornets answered and returned the ensuing kickoff all the way back for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 20-14 with 10:55 remaining in the third. Not to be outdone, Whatley returned the favor as he took the next kickoff back for a touchdown himself, putting the Eagles up 28-14 with 10:40 left in the quarter.

On the Hornets’ next possession, it looked like they were going to score, but the ball was knocked out and recovered by the Eagles in the end zone, resulting in a touchback. Vinemont was unable to capitalize as the drive stalled and the Eagles failed to convert on fourth down. The Hornets faced their own fourth down next, and they not only converted, but scored, cutting the lead to 28-20 with 11:48 left in the ballgame. After forcing a punt, the Hornets were able to find the end zone again to tie the game at 28, but with 4:07 left in the game, Miller scampered for a 47-yard touchdown to put the Eagles back on top 34-28.

The Hornets took the field needing a touchdown and with 1:11 left in the game, that is just what happened. Locust Fork pulled ahead 35-34. Facing a fourth down on the next Eagle possession, Miller found Whatley to extend the drive and on the very next play, Colby Miller found his brother Lucas Miller for a 23-yard touchdown with just four seconds left in the game, putting the Eagles up 42-35. The Hornets called for a fair catch, giving them one last chance, but the pass fell incomplete to seal the victory for Vinemont on homecoming night.

“It shows we got guts,” said Eagles Head Coach Stephen Robinson. “We’ve got guys that are supporting their teammates the way they should be. Coach Harris and the defensive staff did an awesome job. This team was so tough to prepare for because they do so much.”

Vinemont improves to 3-4 with the win and will be on the road next week to take on J.B. Pennington.

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