Vincent ends season with thrilling road win

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Special to the Reporter

PRATTVILLE – Although it was lights out at Vincent Middle High School on Friday, the Yellow Jackets offense kept the power going en route to a road win.

The Yellow Jackets beat the Prattville Christian Panthers 33-28 on the road Friday night after a short notice move to Prattville due to a Tropical Storm Zeta-related power outage on campus.

“We were happy to send our seniors out with a win and hope it’s something we can build on going forward,” Vincent head coach Lucas Weatherford said postgame.

Vincent wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as a 55-yard touchdown run from Jermarey Lawson put the Jackets up 6-0.

That lead didn’t last long, however, thanks to a Panthers kickoff return that saw the home side go up 7-6 two plays into the game.

The Jackets senior running back Tae McGregor saw his first of two big touchdown runs happen on the ensuing drive, with a 51-yard scoring run to help Vincent regain the lead, 12-7.

The Jackets defense got into the scoring column as well, with sophomore defensive end Ty’Quan Goodman scooping up a blocked Prattville punt for a touchdown.

The first Jackets offensive drive of the second quarter saw McGregor notch his second score of the night, this time on a 45-yard run to go up 25-7. McGregor finished out his career as a Yellow Jacket with 105 yards on just five carries with two touchdowns.

However, that became the last Vincent score for nearly two quarters, as the Panthers clawed their way back from down 18 to get back in the game.

A rushing touchdown and 2-point conversion cut the lead to 10, while a recovered onside kick let the Panthers march down a short field for six more, giving the Jackets just a 25-21 lead going into halftime.

“We knew we had made some mistakes and let them back into it,” Weatherford said about the mood in the halftime locker room. “Credit to [Prattville Christian], they made some big plays to get back into it. To our guys’ credit, we had some guys that came into the game and got control of the game.”

And control they got, as the Vincent defense held the Panthers scoreless for the entire third quarter.

Offensively, however, they couldn’t capitalize on any of those chances and still led by just four going into the fourth.

But in the final period, Lawson extended the lead just one minute in with his second score of the night, which took just 2 of his 225 total yards on the night to put the Jackets up 10.

Vincent’s only completed pass of the night came on the ensuing 2-point conversion, which was needed after the Jackets’ kicker suffered an injury earlier, extending the lead to 33-21.

With four minutes left, the Panthers were faced with fourth down on the Vincent 40-yard line. Rather than just convert, they sent the ball into Stillman Davis’ waiting hands in the end zone for a Hail-Mary touchdown that cut the lead to just five.

But the following onside kick by the Panthers was caught by the Jackets, who were finally able to run the clock out to secure the 33-28 win in their season finale.

Weatherford feels good about the future of the program with the way the team competed this year and the amount of youth that was on the team.

“We played a lot of young guys this year,” Weatherford said after the game. “I think we started seven sophomores, so I’m excited for the future. I think we can build on this and use this offseason to eliminate some of the negatives and keep building our program up.”