Toombs County vs. Vidalia- The game has been moved to Friday night

The Toombs County versus Vidalia game has been moved to Friday night at 7:30 at Booster Stadium due to Hurricane Michael. The game was originally schedule for Thursday night to accommodate the Rel Squeal. With the game back on a regular high school football night  in Lyons and with a perfect weather forecast- clear sky and a game time temperature in the lower 70’s a large crowd might show up for the big rivalry game. In 2016, the last time the game was played in the Pit both sides were full which forced many fans have to find alternative seating or a place to stand.

The Toombs County side in 2016
The Indian side was full too
The spillover also made it’s way to the south end zone
If you couldn’t find a seat, their were plenty of places to stand and watch the biggest game of the season
The Toombs County student body goes all out for the big game

Big plays decided the 2016 game in the Pit. Just moments after the Bulldogs had taken a 14-13 lead, with nine seconds remaining in the third quarter, Deon Green returned the TCHS kickoff 97 yards for a shocking six points and then later in the fourth quarter Nate McBride sealed the Indians’ 28-14 win with a 69-yard TD run.

Big plays also helped both teams stay undefeated in Region 2 play last Friday. The Bulldogs beat Bryan County in Pembroke 41-7 and they scored three touchdowns on plays of 20 or more yards. Meanwhile, Vidalia rolled to a 43-15 home win over Jeff Davis and the Indians scored four TD’s on plays covering more than 20-yards. Last year, at Buck Cravey Field, big scoring plays was not the story. The Bulldogs defeated Vidalia 26-7 and they scored three touchdowns on Keshawn Morgan runs of three, one and six-yards while the Indians scored their lone TD on a two-yard run by Derman Simmons. Toombs County Football Page

Ironically, the headline in last year’s Toombs County/ Vidalia preview asked the question- Will the defenses rule in the 31st Toombs County/Vidalia game?

The calculator says the 31st meeting between the Toombs County Bulldogs and the Vidalia Indians- on Friday, October 27, 2017- 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. (Toombsnow1- October 25, 2017)

The Thursday night showdown will kickoff at 7:30 p.m. and the pregame coverage will begin at 7 on Y-101 and streamed on Mixlr.

First place will be on the line in the Pit. The Bulldogs, who went 2-2 in their non-region games, are the only 3-0 team in the Region 2 standings. Vidalia and Swainsboro are both 2-0.

Vidalia goes 6-0 thanks to a big play second half

Vidalia opened the home game with a big play which set up the Indians first touchdown. Senior Nyshun Bell ran 83-yards- from the Vidalia 15-yard line to the Jeff Davis two. Bell, who was the right wing back, went in motion and took the handoff and he received two big blocks at the 30-yard line which opened up a wide open path down the Vidalia sideline. A Yellow Jacket dove unsuccessfully at the JD 30. Nyjai Willis, who runs a 4.67 40, closed from an angle and grabbed Bell by the shoulder pads and dragged him to the turf. Senior fullback Tahjah Watts finished the quick drive with a two-yard TD run. He was actually nearly brought down by one of his offensive lineman (Robert Brown) who was blocking for him on the right side of the line, but Watts kept his balance and stepped into the end zone. The Indians snapped the ball to the holder on the extra point and he took off toward the left pylon where he was belted by a Yellow Jacket shy of the end zone.

Vidalia lost a fumble at the Indian 31 on it’s second possession and Jeff Davis recovered. The Jackets wound up attempting a field goal which was blocked. Jeff Davis did score on a 50-yard drive. Austin Wood ran for 15-yards and caught a three-yard pass for the touchdown. Jeff Davis ran the ball in for two-points, on a QB keeper, and an 8-6 lead.

The Indians retook the lead on a 63-yard drive. Junior quarterback Marc Wardlaw ran for 16-yards and senior Chris Gay ended the drive with a 25-yard TD run. He lined up at left wing and went in motion and took the handoff and received two big blocks as he reached the edge. At the nine-yard line he made a little hesitation move and deeked cornerback Emanuel Rump out of the play prior to scoring six. The Indians went with an unbalanced line on the two-point conversion- four offensive lineman and a wing lined up close to the line of scrimmage to the right of the center. The Yellow Jackets were out-numbered and Gay easily ran the ball in giving Vidalia a 14-8 lead at half.

The Indians drove 60-yards in three plays on their first possession of the second half. Watts gained 25 on the first play. He broke a tackle six-yards downfield and then was finally pushed out of bounds at the JD 35. Gay scored the touchdown on a 12-yard carry. The Indians ran the same unbalanced line formation on their two-point attempt and it worked again with Gay running the ball in to lift Vidalia to a 22-8 lead.

Jeff Davis was flagged for two 15-yard penalties setting up Vidalia to kick off from the 30-yard line. The Indians recovered an onside kick and scored a touchdown on the next play on a seven-yard run by Bell. Add an extra point and suddenly Vidalia had a 29-8 lead in the third quarter.

The Yellow Jackets lost a fumble, but Vidalia didn’t score. However, the Indians picked off a pass at their 12-yard line and they drove 88-yards. On the first play Raymond Collins took off on a 31-yard run on the outside. On the next play, from the Vidalia 43, Rodney Wardlaw set up as a halfback and he got the call. He broke an arm tackle at his 47 and made a Yellow Jacket miss at the JD 48. At the Yellow Jacket 35 two chasers were even with him, one of them- Tyeson Alls- made a diving attempt at the 18, but he barely touched a heel and Wardlaw stumbled just a little before running the ball in for a 57-yard TD. After the the PAT Vidalia had a 36-8 lead with 7:11 to play in the game.

Jeff Davis scored it’s final touchdown on a one-yard run by Jashaun Kirby. Bryce Davis handled a Yellow Jacket onside kick and Vidalia had a short field starting at the Indian 43. Once again Rodney Wardlaw took a handoff as a halfback and this time nobody touched him. Alls chased him for 45-yards and he never got close enough to interfere with the 57-yard touchdown run.

Rodney Wardlaw accumulated 121 yards on just four carries and scored two touchdowns and Bell also ran the ball four times for 98-yards and scored once.

Vidalia’s offensive line was mentioned in the Georgia High School Football Daily for it’s performance in the Jeff Davis game.

Tackles Riyon Adams and John Tarver, guards Robert Brown and Caleb Henry, tight ends Jaylon Clements and Caitlyn Jordan and center Tyler Black helped the Indians rack up 408 total yards and 385 rushing on 26 carries, an average of 14.8 per carry, in a 43-15 victory over Jeff Davis.

Coach Richie Marsh talks about Redskins and Indians

In last weeks game at Bryan County head coach Richie Marsh wanted his Bulldogs to get off to a good start. “For the most part I thought that we started that game like we wanted to,” Marsh said in a Tuesday morning interview. “That touchdown they got was a 60-yard pass. The kid had pretty good coverage, it’s just the kid made a great catch. They weren’t able to run the ball on our defense prior to that. So, I was really proud of the way our kids performed in that game. I really was.”

With both teams coming into the game making big plays how important will it be to stop the big plays on defense? “The bottom line with them is they have thrown some touchdown passes, but their m.o. and what they do is they have big runs and they do so well blocking them. That’s the bottom line. You just have to make sure that you are not in the wrong place as far as you alignment because if you are with what they are trying to do offensively, they liable to pop the big run on you. You misalign on one of those type plays and you are watching the back of his jersey. So, alignment is important especially against a Wing-T team. They use so many different formations and that is what they try to do. They get a gap on you or a cut back on you because of your alignment and that is what that offense is about. Being able to align is a huge part of the game and the next part is you have to be physical when the ball is snapped.”

The Bulldogs have been getting a lot defensive players to the ball in their three game winning streak. “I wouldn’t say we are a great tackling team. It’s always a process every year with a team, We have worked on that a tremendous amount this summer and by the grace of God we just continue to work and continue to rep and hopefully the kids get better and better at it.”

The Indians have been yielding 13.2 points per game which is the lowest in Region 2. “Since I have been here I have known them to be a very sound team defensively. They are very simple. They are very technique. They are good with their fundamentals and they are the same way this year. That linebacker they have is special, He makes the whole thing work. They are just very sound and in my opinion that is why they are 6-0.”

Special teams have always been a big factor in this rivalry game whether it be Rig Tinoco kicking those long field goals or the Indians returning kickoffs a long way. “Special teams, we have kind of took that up and down. Anytime you make adjustments or changes you deal with that. We were able to get our punts off last week and that was huge. The snapping was good. We missed some extra points Friday night which is uncharacteristic of us. They are very sound on special teams. They have a good plan with what they are trying to accomplish special teams wise. They are not going to allow the kicking game to beat them. That is out goal is to not have any mishaps in the kicking game.”

You always want to practice well during Vidalia week. “This week has had enough distractions and then Monday not knowing which day the game was going to be on and then us trying to prepare not knowing what day the game was going to be on that always presents distractions that you have figure out how to deal with. There’s only certain things you can control with that. So, Monday wasn’t the practice that I would prefer, but I am sure today is going to be a much better one. Whatever day they put on that schedule, we will be excited to play.”

This will be coach Marsh’s third Toombs County/Vidalia game and he has coached in other big rivalry games in the past. “The atmosphere is tremendous. It is very special. I grew up a Yellow Jacket in Bartow, Florida and I wanted to experience the Bartow/Lake Wells game. When I coached at Thomasville it was the Thomasville/Thomas County Central game and at Valdosta it was the Lowndes game. Here it is the Toombs County/Vidalia game. So, to the kid it is one of the biggest deals of their life. To us as far as our preparation we change nothing because, in my opinion, if you change something for this week that means you have been cheating all of the other weeks. That’s not out job. Our job, as coaches, is to go out here and give these kids the best opportunity to win each and every week.”

Coach Marsh is off to the 2nd best start in Bulldog history

Through 30 games, as head coach of the Toombs County Bulldogs, coach Richie Marsh is off to the second best start in Lyons Senior and Toombs County High School history. Marsh is 21-9 after a 6-5 debut in 2016, a 10-2 record in 2017 and the 5-2 start this season. Only Tom Avret had a better record though 30 games. He went 22-8. In 1965 Lyons had a 7-3 season followed by an 8-4 record in 1966 and a 7-1 start in 1967. Jacky Jones went 20-9-1 in his first 30- 8-2 in 1969, 8-3 in 1970 and 4-4-1 in 1971.

Toombs County Bulldog Official Statistics after 7 games

Rushing

D.J. Mincey 70 carries, 485 yards (6.9) 7 TD’s  Long 40

Demetrius Owens 84 carries, 409 yards (4.9) 7 TD’s Long 26

Silas LeGrant 14 carries, 99 yards (7.1) Long 61

Trey Cloud 24 carries, 105 yards (4.4) 1 TD  Long 20

Caleb Harley 1 carry, 2 yards

Ashlee Ashley 1 carry, 1 yard

Octavious Robinson 1 carry, 2 yards

Chandler Lynn 1 carry, -4 yards

Kodi Cortez 2 carries, -16 yards

Josiah Smith 4 carries, -34 yards

Total 203 carries, 1055 yards (5.2) 15 TD’s

Passing

Trey Cloud 60-for-127 (47.2%) for 1022 yards  9 TD’s and 3 interceptions

Receiving

Chandler Lynn 32 catches for 553 yards (17.3) Long 52 and 3 TD’s

Ashlee Ashley 11 catches for 142 yards (12.9) Long 32 and 1 TD

Raekwon Powell 5 catches for 114 yards (22.8) 1 TD

Cole Graham 5 catches for 112 yards (22.4) 2 TD’s

Tyquan Toby 3 catches for 59 yards (19.7) 1 TD

Tyler Smith 1 catch for 37 yards

J.D. Myers  1 catch for 11 yards and a TD

Demetrius Owens 2 catches for -6 yards

Punting

Cole Graham 19 for 651 yards (34.8) Long 47  7 inside the 20

Chandler Lynn 6 punts for 209 yards (34.8) Long 38  1 inside the 20

Kicking

Rafael Perez 23-for-26 PAT (88.4%)   0-2 FG missed 29 yards, 27 yards

Caleb Hartley 0-for-1 FG missed 43 yards

Defense Total Tackles

GP Total AVG
Season Totals 7 445 63.6 44.0
1 C. Hartley (Jr) 7 89 12.7 9.0 TFL
2 T. Smith (Jr) 6 25 4.2 2.0
3 C. Lynn (So) 7 48 6.9 1.0
4 M. Merrion (Jr) 3 3 1.0
5 D. Owens (Sr) 7 33 4.7 5.0
6 K. Cortez (Fr) 5 7 1.4
8 A. Ashley (Sr) 7 24 3.4
9 D. Mincey (So) 7 53 7.6 2.0
10 R. Powell (Sr) 7 16 2.3 1.0
11 J. Myers (So) 2 1 0.5
15 T. Heath (So) 7 12 1.7 2.0
17 J. Smith (Fr) 5 8 1.6
22 S. Legrant (Fr) 4 1 0.3
24 O. Robinson (Fr) 4 3 0.8
25 S. Gaffney (So) 3 7 2.3 1.0
30 B. Usher (So) 7 35 5.0 8.0
32 B. Stanley (Fr) 3 5 1.7
33 D. Harris (Fr) 3 3 1.0
42 D. Malone (So) 5 16 3.2 4.0
52 C. Braddock (So) 6 11 1.8 3.0
57 H. Smith (So) 5 2 0.4 1.0
64 C. Miller (Jr) 4 2 0.5
66 R. Kent (So) 7 27 3.9 3.0
78 T. Wiggins (Sr) 4 3 0.8 1.0
79 A. Brown (Jr) 5 2 0.4

Sacks

GP Sacks Ydl S/G Hurs
Season Totals 7 5.0 43 0.7 9
Graph Data [+] [+] [+] [+]
1 C. Hartley (Jr) 7 1.0 6 0.1 7
30 B. Usher (So) 7 3.0 26 0.4 2
42 D. Malone (So) 5 1.0 11 0.2

Scoring by quarters

1 2 3 4 Total
Toombs County 27 71 62 21 187 (26.7)
Opponents 35 35 29 21 120 (17.1)

Region 2 Scores

Toombs County 41, Bryan County 7

Vidalia 43, Jeff Davis 15

Swainsboro 40,  Bacon County 0

Metter was off

Region 2 Standings

Toombs County 3-0

Swainsboro 2-0

Vidalia 2-0

Bacon County 1-2

Jeff Davis 1-2

Metter 0-2

Bryan County 0-3

Region 2 Games

6-0 Vidalia at 5-2 Toombs County

1-6 Bacon County at 4-2 Metter

1-5 Bryan County at 4-2 Swainsboro

Jeff Davis is off

Check out the last 11 Toombs County/Vidalia games

Toombs County versus Vidalia