Vincent comes up short in region opener

Published 2:46 am Saturday, September 5, 2015

By Chris Megginson / For the Reporter

TUSCALOOSA – Vincent held its opponent to the fewest points since last September, but that wasn’t enough to snap an eight-game losing streak in its Class 2A, Region 4 opener at Holy Spirit Catholic, falling 21-6 Friday.

“It was a really, really tough night for us. Not to take anything away from Holy Spirit. They did what they did very well, and executed very well, and it was a tough loss for us to say the least,” Vincent coach Jason Hill said.

“Our defensive coordinator had a great plan. Most of the night we executed. I thought our kids played hard. We showed some sparks tonight offensively that we haven’t shown, but we lacked the one thing that we needed to win that game, and that’s that we didn’t do a great job taking care of the football.”

Holy Spirit marched down the field on the opening drive and scored on a play-action pass inside the red zone to go up 7-0. The Titans successfully recovered an onside kick, but the Yellow Jackets’ defense held.

Vincent got on the board with a 55-yard punt return by Saylor Carroll to pull within one, 7-6. It was the Yellow Jackets’ first first-half points of the season.

Holy Spirit added a touchdown mid second quarter and was driving again to close the first half when Vincent held the Titans to a 27-yard field goal try. Cole Holston broke through the line and blocked the attempt, which Carroll scooped and returned to the Titan’s 6 before being caught from behind to end the half, 14-6. It was Holy Spirit’s first halftime lead this season.

Vincent looked to cut into the Titan lead on the opening drive of the second half, but threw one of two interceptions in the game. Both teams later traded fumbles in the second half. Vincent’s fumble was knocked out around the Titans’ 20 and returned to midfield. Holy Spirit worked run out the third quarter clock and extend its lead to 21-6 early in the fourth quarter. Vincent had a late goal line stand on defense and ended the game on the Holy Spirit 5 yard line.

The win snapped a 21-game losing streak for Holy Spirit dating back to the 2013 season opener, while Vincent’s skid is now nine games entering an off week Sept. 11.

During the game, purple ribbons could be found on the Vincent sideline and in the visiting bleachers in memory of 18-year-old Jolee Callan, a 2015 Vincent graduate, who was murdered this week on Pinhoti Trail in Cheaha State Park in Delta. Funeral services were held Friday at 11 a.m. at Vincent Revival Center. Coach Hill said purple was chosen by Callan’s friends and family because it was her favorite color and as the color for domestic violence awareness.

“We’re a tight-knit community, and it was a tough blow getting that news,” Hill said. “It’s been a pretty sad week around, and I was really hoping we could pull this one out and put a smile on everybody’s face.”

Vincent (0-3) will host Fayetteville (2-0) on Sept. 18 following its off week.