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The Vidalia Indians locked up the number two seed in Region 2AA Friday night with a hard fought 20-7 win over the Metter Tigers at Buck Cravey Field. With the win the Indians move to 8-1 on the year and 4-1 in region play.

As has been most of the year the Indians scored early on, taking only 5 plays to go 73 yards for the first score of the night, a 7 yard run by Marc Wardlaw which was set up by a 56 yard run by Chris Gay on the previous play. Following the PAT by Grady Blount, the Indians led 7-0 with 9:40 to go in the opening quarter.

The Indian defense would force a Metter punt after an initial first down and take the ball over on their 29 yard line. But the Tiger defense would stiffen and force the Indians to their only 3 and out on the night and force a Grady Blount punt which traveled 32 yards down to the Metter 32.

The Vidalia defense would return the favor on the Tiger’s next possession forcing Metter to a three and out of their own and a punt which traveled to the Indian 34 yard line.

10 27 18 VHS Football 1The Indians would then get a first down on the second play to the 45 yard line. On the very next play Nyshon Bell would take a hand off around the left end and travel 19 yards down to the Tiger 36 yard line only to have it nullified by a holding penalty. Two short runs and an incomplete pass would stall the drive for the Indians and force a second punt by Grady Blount which traveled 34 yards to the Metter 25 yard line with 11:40 to go in the half.

Again the Indian defense would hold Metter to just three plays on their next offensive possession and force a punt which Tiger punter Devin Smith kicked low and off to one side and traveled only 20 yards giving the Indians the ball at the Tiger 37 yard line.

But on the third play of the possession a Tiger defender would put his head on the ball and force Tahjah Watts to drop the ball at the 24 yard line where the Tigers recovered the ball.

Metter would move the ball 17 yards on their next possession picking up a first down before the Indian defense stiffened and force another Tiger punt, giving the Indians the ball at their own 29 yard line with four minutes left to go in the half.

The Indian offense would then go to work converting on a 4th down and picking up three first downs on hard running and a good throw and catch from Marc Wardlaw to Chris Gay. On the 7th play of the drive from the 33 yard line Marc Wardlaw would hit Sheldon Washington at the 31 yard line on a tunnel screen and Washington would break three tackles and then carry three defenders into the end zone to make the score 14-0 following the PAT with 27 seconds to go in the half. 10 27 18 Chris Gay

Metter would then run one play before the half would end with the Indians leading 14-0.

Metter would receive the ball to start the second half and would have to start on their 20 yard line after Grady Blount kicked the ball into the end zone. But on the first play from scrimmage Walker Dollar would hit Keondre Williams on a seam route at the 30 yard line and the senior would then out run Indian defenders to the end zone to cut the lead to 14-7 with just 13 seconds gone in the half.

The Indians would then take their next possession and move the ball to the Tiger 16 yard line, on the heels of a Wardlaw 30 yard run. But the Indians would bog down and reach for a 34 yard field goal which fell short, giving the ball to the Tigers on their 20 yard line with 9:27 to go in the 3rd quarter.

Neither team was able to produce any points during the rest of the quarter with Vidalia fumbling the ball away at the Metter 22 yard line giving the ball back to the Tigers with 3:53 to go in the quarter.

The Tigers would then mount their longest drive of the half taking the ball from the 22 to the Indian 46 before bogging down and turning the ball over with 10:35 to go in the game.

Vidalia would start the next possession on their 20 and move the ball all the way to the Tiger 20 yard line before fumbling the ball away again on the Metter 20 yard line. But after stopping Metter and forcing another punt, the Indians would mount an 80 yard game clinching drive with Raymond Collins scoring from 3 yards out to make the score 20-7 following a missed pAT with 1:22 to go in the game.

Metter would have one more shot at a score, but a Taj Hobbs pass was intercepted by Bryant Phillips at the one yard line to give the Indians the win 20-7.

The Indians racked up 453 yards of offense on the night with 395 yards of those yards coming on the ground. Leading the way on the ground was Chris Gay with 162 yards on 12 carries. Marc Wardlaw would complete the night with 67 yards rushing and a TD and 58 yards through the air and a TD on a 4 for 5 night. Nyshun Bell ended the night with 63 yards rushing on just 7 carries and 10 tackles, while Rodney Wardlaw rushed for 55 yards on 9 attempts. Sheldon Washington was the leading receiver with 39 yards on two receptions and a TD.

The Indians will travel to Alma on Friday night for the final regular season game of the year as they take on the Red Raiders of Bacon County with game time set for 7:30.(Pics by John Conner)

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