Jackets swarm Fayetteville in first home game

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer 

VINCENT — The hive was alive in Vincent Friday night as the Yellow Jackets bested the Fayetteville Wolves, 41-34, in a back-and-forth battle that was packed with thrills down to the last play.

It was the Jackets’ first home game after canceling its first three games due to COVID-19 and following a close road victory at Horseshoe Bend the previous week.

Fayetteville was first to score about halfway through the first quarter, but momentum picked up for the Jackets on a Jermarey Lawson 12-yard run. Lawson gained another 20 yards, setting up a 12-yard Will Harris touchdown on a quarterback keeper. Ty’Qun Goodman capped it off with a PAT to tie the game at 7.

In the second quarter, Zac Carlisle intercepted a Wolf pass and returned it for 20 yards, but a 15-yard penalty on the following play helped contribute to a three-and-out.

Fayetteville was forced to punt on the next possession, but Camden Keeton recovered a Vincent fumble to set the stage for a 30-yard Brady Ritchey run. Ritchey punched it in from the 1-yard line with 7:22 left in the half.

Later, Vincent found themselves in a fourth-and-inches situation but a Harris rush for six yards gave them life. Tae McGregor ran down the left side for a 15-yard gain, allowing Lawson to score a TD and once again tie the game.

The Wolves eked out another touchdown on a short Pacey Deloach pass with just 17 seconds to go until halftime. Vincent’s Lawson got an impressive 25-yard gain but the half ended with the Wolves ahead 21-14.

Lawson returned with a vengeance in the third quarter with a huge 50-yard touchdown run for the Jackets, and again the PAT resulted in yet another tie at 21-21. Fayetteville punted but recovered a Vincent fumble on the return and ended up kicking a field goal with 1:26 left in the third.

The fourth quarter started much like the third ended, with Fayetteville recovering a Vincent fumble and kicking a field goal, but Lawson again answered with his third TD of the night, this one from 38 yards out, putting the Jackets up 28-27.

Fayetteville drove down to the Vincent 10-yard line and then scored again with 6:29 left to play, resulting in a 34-28 score. On the ensuing drive, a personal foul on Fayetteville put Vincent at the Wolves’ 15-yard line and Harris completed a touchdown pass to McGregor to shift the lead again back to Vincent, 35-34.

Things seemed to fall apart for Fayetteville on their next drive, as a bad snap backed the Wolves up near their own end zone. Then, with under a minute remaining, Vincent’s Ray Albright picked up a Wolf fumble in the end zone to build the lead to 41-34.

Fayetteville would use those last few seconds to try to tie the game, and even got close, but Vincent intercepted the ball in the end zone to seal the deal with just 3 seconds on the clock.

“What stands out to me is our team’s resolve when our backs are against the wall,” said Vincent coach Lucas Weatherford. “We’ve got a lot to fix. We are by no means perfect, but the fight and the effort the entire fourth quarter is what I love about our team right now.”

Next week Vincent will play at Montevallo in an exhibition game.