Vincent’s defense stands tall but Jackets fall short to Clarke County in first round

Published 11:18 pm Thursday, November 9, 2023

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By STEPHEN DAWKINS | Special to the Reporter

GROVE HILL – Vincent’s season came to an end with a 20-9 loss at Clarke County on Friday, Nov. 9, in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs.

The Yellow Jackets (6-5) led 9-7 at halftime but battled injuries in the second half as numerous underclassmen were forced into action.

“I hate the outcome, but I’m so proud of our kids,” VHS coach Lucas Weatherford said. “We entered this game with seven starters out due to injury and had a few more go down throughout the course of the game. But they kept fighting and didn’t quit. This game will pay off down the road for the younger guys in our program.”

The hosts scored on their first possession to go up 7-0.

Vincent answered with a 51-yard drive at the start of the second quarter. Rykelus Robertson was the workhorse, and quarterback Aiden Poe punched it in from three yards out for the score.

The snap was mishandled on the point-after attempt, leaving the Jackets behind, 7-6.

But the visitors took the lead late in the first half, as Daniel Campos hit a 25-yard field goal with no time remaining on the clock for a 9-7 edge.

VHS had opportunities to build on its lead in the third quarter, forcing two fumbles, but couldn’t capitalize.

Then, the Bulldogs (6-5) took the lead for good with a score late in the third quarter to make it 13-9.

The Vincent defense continued to stand tall, but a bad snap on a punt attempt set up CCHS for a game-clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Robertson amassed 177 yards on 34 carries for the Yellow Jackets.

Defensively, Grayson Gulde forced two fumbles, and Landon Archer had an interception.