The calculator says the 31st meeting between the Toombs County Bulldogs and the Vidalia Indians- on Friday, October 27- could be a low scoring game. If so, will it be as low scoring as the first meeting between the two schools in 1987 when the Indians won 6-3 in Vidalia. Perhaps it will be reminiscent of TCHS’s first victory over Vidalia which occurred in 1990 when the Dawgs shutout their rival 6-0 at Booster Stadium. The last time the winner of this game won with a single digit score was in 2007, in the Pit, as the Indians prevailed 7-6.
Y-101 Story featuring the first and the last Toombs County teams to beat Vidalia (1990 and 2008
The 2017 Toombs County defense has shutout it’s eight opponents in 18 of 32 quarters. The opposition has scored only 31 total points in the first half. Only Telfair County has tallied a first quarter TD against Toombs. Trojan quarterback Ian Blankenship ran for 20-yards and scored back on September 8. Only Benedictine has scored a third quarter touchdown against the Dawgs on Travis Blackshear’s 44-yard run.
The Bulldogs have not shut out an opponent for all four quarters, but they have blanked East Laurens, Twriggs County, Jeff Davis, Bryan County and Metter for the first three periods. It took Bacon County 16 1/2 minutes to earn it’s initial first down against the Dawg D.
The Bulldogs are averaging 28.25 points per game and they are yielding 12.75.
The Indians are coming off the most impressive shutout of the Region 2 season. They blanked Swainsboro on the road 14-0. Vidalia has shutout it’s opponents in 15-of-28 quarters this season.
The Indians are averaging 14.57 points per game and they are giving up 13.86.
Even though it will have been 3,482 on game since the Toombs County Bulldogs have beaten Vidalia, the Bulldogs have had their chances to break the Indians run of now eight straight victories in the series.
“I think they are phenomenal on defense,” TCHS head coach Richie Marsh said after Tuesday’s practice. “They play with a lot of tenacity. They know where they are suppose to be. They play in the gaps. They play with a discipline about them. Their linebackers do a really good job of reading and the defensive backs do a really good of keeping the ball in front of them. Obviously, they are well coached and they have the guys to do it with. It’s a consistent thing for them and they play great defense.”
Even though, on game day. it will have been 3,482 on game since Toombs County Bulldogs has beaten Vidalia (October 31, 2008 when TCHS, dressed in blue jerseys, prevailed 20-0), the Bulldogs have had their chances to break the Indians run of now eight straight victories in the series.
In last season’s rivalry game in Booster Stadium the Bulldogs took two leads. That was the first time they had led the Indians since the 2011 game, at Vidalia, when TCHS opened a 12-0 lead. The Bulldogs scored on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Dalton McBride to D.J. Mathews with 4:50 to play in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead and they led 14-13 after a four-yard run by Keshawn Morgan with nine seconds left in the third quarter.
The Indians turned the game on the final play of the third quarter when Deon Green returned the TCHS kickoff 97 yards for a shocking six points. With 4:27 to play in the fourth when Nate McBride sealed the Indians 28-14 victory with a 69-yard TD run.
McBride is a freshman at the University of Georgia and he has been credited with a solo tackle against Vanderbilt and an assist at Tennessee.
“As for out defense we are always striving to knock down the next obstacle.” Marsh added. “We just need to do a better with our execution. It’s the Wing-T and Vidalia is doing some different things this year. We’ve got to be ready for them and keep the ball in front of us. Lat year they got behind our secondary a couple of times and made big plays and they broke that big belly cut back on us. There were big plays last year and you can’t give up big plays and that’s the thing with us- if we limit the big plays we are pretty decent on defense.”
There was a new teaching device at practice this week. Offensive line coach Jason McEachin and defensive line coach Isaac Ferrell each took shifts holding up a sign which said “low pad level”. “We’ve got to have a low pad level,” coach Ferrell said. “That’s the way we should be playing all the time. If you have a high pad level people get under your pads and they drive you off the ball and Vidalia does a great job of playing with low pad level. Their offensive lineman come off the ball very well with low pads and they run their feet and they are very physical.”
Tickets for the Toombs County at Vidalia game will be on sale for $7 at Toombs County High School and the Toombs County Board of Education beginning Tuesday at noon and will be on sale thru Friday at noon.
You can ride to the game on a bus for free. The buses will leave TCHS at 5:45 pm. You can also buy a game ticket before you get on the bus.
You can listen to the game on Y-101 Radio and it will be steamed on Mixlr