Vincent snaps losing streak on last-second play

By STEPHEN DAWKINS / Staff Writer

VINCENT – Vincent snapped a 19-game losing streak with a last-second tipped pass touchdown to defeat Woodland, 29-27, on Sept. 30.

First-year coach Wiley McKeller said the Yellow Jackets had been improving each week of the season, and he was glad for the players to earn a win as a reward for their effort.

“There’s only so many moral victories you can have,” McKeller said. “A win is a huge bonus. It shows that there is a payoff for the hard work. It’s going to do nothing but make us better.

“We’ve got a million miles to go. We all know that. But it feels good to be able to get a win.”

The last Vincent win was on Oct. 11, 2014, against Francis Marion.

The beginning of the game on Sept. 30 surely made fans wonder if the losing streak would be extended again.

VHS trailed 14-0 after one quarter of play and 20-8 at halftime, with Cole Fincher’s 70-yard touchdown pass to Christian Henderson producting the hosts’ only points.

But Zavian Kelley returned the opening kickoff of the second half about 70 yards for a touchdown, and the Yellow Jackets (1-5 overall, 1-3 Class 2A, Region 5) trailed 20-16 afte a two-point conversion.

Vincent claimed its first lead of the game on a one-yard touchdown run by J.T. Youngblood in the fourth quarter, but Woodland (0-6, 0-4) reclaimed the lead, 27-23, with only 45 seconds remaining in the game.

A 20-yard pass from Fincher to Stanley Cooper got the Yellow Jackets in range for a throw toward the end zone on the game’s last play, and Kelley caught a pass from Fincher that was tipped for a 30-yard game-winning touchdown.

Henderson caught three passes for 91 yards in the game, while Cooper had three receptions for 54 yards.

Vincent hosts Horseshoe Bend in another region game on Oct. 7.