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September 4--The Vidalia Indians spotted E.C.I. three fumbles and 14 points in the first half before mounting a comeback that fell just short 17-14 Friday night at Buck Cravey Field.

The Indians (0-1) fumbled the opening kickoff, giving E.C.I. the ball at the Indian 33-yard line. But the Indian defense would bow their backs and force the Bulldogs into a punt with 9:11 to go in the opening quarter

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From there, the Indians’ offense would go to work, starting their possession on their 25-yard line. A combination of running by Bryce Davis and Darrell Brown and a couple of passes from Davis to Antonio Barron saw the Indians move the ball into Bulldog territory in 7 plays. Then on a 2nd down and long, Davis broke away to the 36, slicing through defenders and headed for the goal line. But a Bulldog defender reached up as Davis crossed the 8-yard line and stripped the ball away, with E.C.I. recovering at the 3-yard line.

The Bulldogs then went on a 13-play drive, which was kept alive by a fake punt, and was capped by a D.J. Jones 1 yard run to make the score 7-0 following the PAT. The Indians would get a good return on the kickoff by Barron to the Dog 47 yard line before he was stripped of the ball with the Bulldogs recovering. E.C.I. would then go 53 yards in just five plays, with the drive being capped off on a P.J. Farnum 14 yard run to make the score 14-0 with 5:47 to go in the half.

Neither team could do anything the rest of the half, and the Indians trailed 14-0 at the break.

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The second half started with the Bulldogs ripping off 33 yards in three plays down to the Indian 38 yard line, and it looked like they were poised to score again. But the young Indian defense would again rise to the occasion and stiffen, forcing a turnover on downs with 8:05 to go in the quarter.

Both teams would swap punts on their next possessions before Vidalia would get the ball with 56 seconds to go in the 3rd quarter. That’s when Davis and Barron would go to work, with Davis running hard and Davis and Barron throwing and catching for a 7 play 72-yard drive which was capped off on a Davis to Barron 21-yard pass for the Indians first score of the night, to make it 14-6 following a blocked extra point.

 E.C.I would strike right back with a quick drive of their own, resulting in a 22-yard Samuel McBride Field Goal with 3:59 to go in the game to stretch the score to 17-6.

But the Indians weren’t finished. Davis and Barron would once again go to work with Davis providing some hard-nosed running and Barron providing some speed following Davis’ passes, and just like that, it was 17-14 after Davis scored from 4 yards out, and the Indians would convert on the 2-point play.

But that was as close as the Indians would get. Despite an onside kick attempt, the Indians could not execute, and E.C.I was able to run out the clock for the 17-14 win.

On Friday, the Indians hit the road to Cochran to take on the Beckley County Royals, who were 35-18 winners over Toombs County. The kick is set for 7:30.

(Pictures by Carroll Williams) (Courtesy of Vidalia High School) 

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