Football News 2014 Football News 2014 Verbena Write-up
2014 Verbena Write-up PDF Print E-mail
Written by Allen J. Dunavant   
Sunday, 26 October 2014 00:00
The Lions hosted the Verbena Red Devils for Homecoming Friday night and wasted little time taking early control of the game by taking the ball down field for the opening possession score. Raymond Bulger, Cole Mims, Quandarius Ray, and Tristan Short were team captains for Verbena with senior players representing the Lions. The Lions won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kick. Mistakes started early for the visiting Devils as they were penalized on the opening kick for an off-sides infraction resulting in a re-kick by Bulger from the 35-yard line.

Anthony Dillard fielded the ball at the 33-yard line advancing to the Lion 43-yard line where Mims and Dakota Vessichio made the stop. First down brought Dax Benton out of the backfield for a three-yard gain with Chris Smith making the solo tackle. Austin Palmer took the ball out of the backfield rushing around the left end advancing down the sidelines where Bulger made the saving tackle at the Red Devils 41-yard line. Nathan Young took the hand-off on first down but was met immediately by a host of defenders after a 1-yard gain. D. Benton took the ball deeper down field following behind the blocking of McKain Hubbert leaving the Lions facing third down and inches near the 31-yard line. Reverting to the passing attack proved successful with Vess Benton connecting with A. Palmer deep down field for 31 yard completion and the first touchdown of the evening. The PAT kick by D. Benton, with V. Benton holding was perfect and the Lions took the early lead with 9:20 remaining in the first quarter of play.

D. Benton's ensuing kick sailed out of bounds setting the Red Devils up at their own 40-yard line for their first possession. N. Young advanced into the backfield on first down making the stop on Dorrian Parker leaving the Devils facing second down and 10-yards. Mims attempted a rushing carry around the left side of the line of scrimmage but Kris Parson and D.J. Pitts, Jr. were in position for the stop which resulted in a one yard loss. Short went to the air attack on third down and connected with Bulger over the middle for the first down at the Lion 31-yard line with D. Benton on the stop for the Lions. Parker attempted to bring the ball around the left end on first down but N. Young, Caleb Palmer and M. Hubbert made the stop after a 1-yard gain. Short went back to the passing attack on second down attempting to connect with Juwan Tyus but A. Palmer was on coverage for the Lions with Verbena being penalized for pass interference on the play as well. Facing second down and 25-yards from the Lion 44-yard line, Parker attempted another rushing attack around the right end but was met immediately for the stop by A. Palmer and Gabe Stidham. Short went back to the passing attack attempting to connect with Mims but the Red Devils were penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back to mid-field. Following a time-out by the Devils, Short attempted a pass with Bulger but once again A. Palmer was in position forcing the ball to fall incomplete. Facing fourth down and 30-yards, Short punted the ball away with the ball rolling out of bounds at the 21-yard line.

V. Benton and the Lion offensive front returned to the field with A. Palmer taking the hand-off and being brought down in the backfield by C. Smith for a four-yard loss. V. Benton called his own number on second down rushing up the middle of the field for a six-yard gain before being stopped by Short and a host of other defenders. Facing third down and eight, V. Benton attempted a pass connection with A. Palmer but the ball fell incomplete setting up fourth down. M. Hubbert lined up to punt the ball away with Q. Ray back to receive. Ray took the punt back up field to the Lion 44-yard line where the stop was made by G. Stidham. The Devils were penalized on the play for holding resulting in the ball being moved back to mid-field. First down brought more of Ray as he took the hand-off up the middle with N. Young on the solo stop for the Lions. Second down brought Short with a keeper with G. Stidham making the tackle at the Lions 39-yard line. A. Palmer made the solo tackle on Parker after a three yard gain on first down and on second down G. Stidham remained in place to make the solo tackle on Malachai Washington leaving the Devils facing third down and three-yards at the Lions 32-yard line. Lathan Holliday and N. Young were on the stop for the Lions bringing Mims down just inches short of the first down marker. Short called upon Mims to fight for the needed yardage on fourth down and K. Parson and N. Young met him at the line of scrimmage requiring an official time-out for measurement. Following the measurement officials determined that the Lions had held the rushing attack and the ball went over on downs just near the 30-yard line.

D. Benton took the hand-off over right guard out to the 40-yard line for a quick first down with C. Smith on the stop. With the snap of the ball, A. Palmer took the pitch-out and raced down the left side line where he was forced out of bounds near mid-field. Following the play the Devils were penalized for a personal foul moving the ball deeper to the 36-yard line of the Devils. D. Benton took the hand-off rambling around the right side of the line of scrimmage reaching the 25-yard line before Stephen Wright and a host of others were able to make the stop. On first down A. Palmer took the ball deeper around the left side of the line with Parker and Trey McCollough on the stop after a four yard gain as the first quarter came to a close. Facing second down and six-yards, the Lions found themselves penalized for an illegal procedure moving the ball back to the 26-yard line. D. Benton took the hand-off once again and followed behind A. Dillard to regain six of the yards leaving the Lions facing third down and five at the 21-yard line. N. Young took the hand-off on third down but was met in the backfield by a host of Red Devils resulting in a 3-yard loss. Facing fourth down and eight, V. Benton found himself scrambling around in the backfield as he attempted a pass connection deep down field but wasn't successful in finding an open receiver resulting in the ball being turned over on downs to the Red Devils at the 24-yard line.

N. Young and A. Dillard met Parker with the hand-off at the line of scrimmage after a one yard gain on first down. Second down brought Parker with the carry once again around the right side line where he was forced out of bounds by a host of Lions. Facing third down and six at the 28-yard line, A. Dillard fought his way across the line into the backfield sacking Short at the 20-yard line for an eight yard loss. Facing fourth down, Vessichil punted the ball away with A. Palmer signaling for the fair-catch at mid-field.

V. Benton and the Lion offense returned to the field and on first down, V. Benton connected thru the air with G. Stidham who raced to the 27-yard line before Bulger could make the saving tackle. With the snap of the ball, D. Benton rushed over the right side of the line behind blockers and raced to the end zone untouched for the score with 8:19 remaining in the first half of play. The Lions lined up to kick on the PAT, but V. Benton passed the ball to G. Stidham in the end zone for the two point conversion leaving the score standing at 15 - 0.

D. Benton's ensuing kick sailed out of bounds setting the Red Devils up at their own 35-yard line. N. Young met Parker for the tackle after a 4-yard gain on first down. Second down brought the air attack with Short connecting with Ray over the middle and D. Benton making the stop just shy of the first down marker. Facing third down, Mims was met in the backfield by D.J. Pitts, Jr. and N. Young for the stop leaving the Devils facing fourth down and two-yards at their own 43-yard line. Vessichio lined up and punted the ball away on fourth down with the ball rolling dead at the Lions 36-yard line.

First down brought a turn-over with the Lions loosing the ball on a fumble in the backfield resulting in the Red Devils having excellent field position near the Lions 27-yard line. On first down Mims was brought down in the backfield by N. Young and M. Hubbert resulting in no gain on the play. On second down Short went to the passing attack and the Lions were penalized for an interference call resulting in a first down for the Red Devils deep in the Lions red-zone. Parker took the pitch-out on first down around the right side of the line of scrimmage but D. Benton remained in place and made the solo tackle resulting in a five-yard loss for the Devils. Facing second down and 15-yards, Zack Reeves stepped in front of the pass intended for Ray knocking the ball away and leaving the Devils facing third down and 15-yards. Parker took the hand-off on third down and rambled around the end to the end zone but the Red Devils were penalized on the play for an illegal block moving the ball back to the 30-yard line for the replay of down. Short went back to the passing attack attempting to connect with Bulger deep in the left corner of the end zone but D. Benton was in position to intercept the ball. The interception held-off the scoring threat by the Devils and resulted in the Lions taking possession at their own 20-yard line.

First down brought D. Benton with the pitch-out but he was tripped up by McCollough after a two-yard gain. On second down A. Palmer took the hand-off around the left side of the line of scrimmage but was met after a 3-yard gain by Ray and a host of defenders leaving the Lions facing third down and five-yards deep in their own territory. A. Palmer took the hand-off from V. Benton then passed the ball back to V. Benton with the stop being made at the line of scrimmage by Mims and Bulger. M. Hubbert dropped into the backfield to punt the ball away on fourth down with the ball rolling dead at the Red Devils' 29-yard line.

Short on a keeper was met immediately at the line of scrimmage on first down by A. Dillard, G. Stidham, K. Parson and others resulting in no gain on the play. Second down brought penalty flags against the Devils for an illegal procedure and on the replay of down, Parker was met by K. Parson resulting in third down and twelve-yards for the Devils. Parker took the pitch-out from Short and raced up the left side line with Caleb Palmer on the stop as the first half came to a close with the Lions taking the half-time lead to the locker rooms 15 - 0.
D. Benton's second half opening kick was fielded at the 10-yard line by Parker who was met at the 26-yard line by John Upton for the solo tackle. First down brought Mims up the middle but K. Parson, N. Young and a host of others were on the stop for the Lions resulting in a one-yard loss. Short connected with Tyus with a pass on second down but as Tyus advanced the ball up field the ball was knocked loose with N. Young recovering the loose ball for the Lions at the Devils 38-yard line.

First down brought D. Benton over the right side of the line of scrimmage for a seven-yard rushing gain with C. Smith on the stop. On second down, D. Benton got the call to carry again and fought his way over right tackle for the first down resulting in a 21-yard rushing gain before McCollough and others could bring him down saving the touchdown. Sticking with D. Benton on the rushing attack resulted in a three yard loss as C. Smith, McCollough and others found their way across the line and into the backfield to make the tackle. Facing second down and sixteen-yards, N. Young took the hand-off over left guard for a 5-yard gain with Parker and Ray on the tackle. D. Benton took the hand-off on second down and raced outside with the carry before cutting back up the middle behind blockers reaching the five yard line for the first down with Jacob Cleckler and others on the stop keeping him out of the end zone. Facing first down and goal at the five-yard line, D. Benton was determined not to be withheld from reaching the end zone and with the snap of the ball he fought his way over the right side of the line of scrimmage behind his blockers for the score with 7:41 remaining in the third quarter. The Lions lined-up to kick the PAT but V. Benton serving as the holder attempted a pass connection with Mason Drummond but the ball fell just beyond his finger tips leaving the score 21 - 0.

M. Hubbert booted the ensuing kick deep down field to the 7-yard line where Parker made the reception with Joseph Rutledge, N. Young and Upton making the stop for the Lions at the Devils 29-yard line. Mims was met in the backfield by N. Young on first down resulting in no-gain on the play. Second down brought Short scrambling in the backfield and racing up the left side line where he stepped out of bounds at the 43-yard line. First down brought Hakeem Underwood with the hand-off around the right side line with N. Young on the solo tackle at the Lion 44-yard line. M. Hubbert and N. Young fought their way into the backfield to make the stop on Underwood on first down resulting in a three-yard loss. Short found himself face-to-face with A. Dillard on second down forcing him to scramble deep in the backfield and throw the ball away leaving the Devils facing third down and 13-yards. On third down, Short went deep down field with a pass attempt to Tyus but G. Stidham and A. Palmer were on coverage knocking the ball away. Facing fourth down, the Verbena coaching staff elected to fight for the needed yardage and Short connected thru the air with Tyus along the right side line where he was brought down at the five yard line by A. Palmer. Underwood  took the hand-off up the middle on first down but G. Stidham and N. Young made the tackle resulting in no yardage gained. Second down brought Short with a keeper over the left guard but D.J. Pitts, Jr., N. Young and a host of others met him after a two-yard gain. Facing third down and goal, Short went to the air attack attempting to connect with Bulger but the ball was thrown incomplete out of the end zone. On fourth down, Short made the pass connection with Bulger near the goal line with Bulger fighting his way into the end zone for the score with 3:12 remaining in the third quarter of play. The Red Devils lined up for the two-point conversion on the PAT but A. Palmer remained in position to make the stop on Underwood in the backfield keeping him out of the end zone and leaving the score 21 - 6 in favor of the Lions.

D. Benton and A. Palmer lined-up deep to receive the ensuing kick from Bulger with D. Benton fielding the ball at the 20-yard line and racing up the middle of the field behind his blockers reaching the Devils 43-yard line before Mims was able to make the solo tackle to save the kick-off return score. First down brought more of D. Benton with the rushing attack as he advanced the ball deeper down field with a 25-yard rushing attack reaching the Red Devils 28-yard line with McCollough making the saving tackle. A. Palmer took the pitch-out from V. Benton on first down and rushed around the left end for an eight yard gain with Bulger on the stop at the 20-yard line. Second down brought D. Benton with the carry once again for the first down at the 14-yard line before Mims, Wright and others could bring him to the ground. With a new set of downs, D. Benton took the ball around the right end and into the end zone for his third rushing touchdown of the evening with 1:01 remaining in the quarter. The PAT kick by M. Hubbert sailed right down the middle of the uprights and the Lions lead continued building 28 - 6.

M. Hubbert's ensuing kick was fielded at the 37-yard line by Vessichio who immediately downed the ball bringing Short and the Devils offense back to the field. First down brought a rushing attack by Underwood around the right side of the line and out of bounds after a two-yard gain. K. Parson fought his way into the backfield sacking Short on second down resulting in a six-yard loss. Short went to the air attack and connected with Tyus on a pass down the right side line as the third quarter of play came to a close. Facing first down at the Lions 49-yard line, Short called for the reverse with a pass intended for Underwood down the right side line but the ball fell incomplete setting up second down. D.J. Pitts, Jr., reminded Short of his presence on the field bursting through the line of scrimmage and making the sack moving the ball back to mid-field and leaving the Red Devils facing third down. Mims took the hand-off racing out of the backfield to the Lions 46-yard line where G. Stidham and a host of defenders made the tackle leaving the Devils with a fourth down decision at the Lions 46-yard line. Vessichio lined up and punted the ball away with the ball rolling to a stop at the Lions 14-yard line.

McCollough made the stop on A. Palmer in the backfield on first down for a one-yard loss. Second down brought Smith and others for the stop on V. Benton at the line of scrimmage leaving the Lions deep in their own territory facing third down at the 13-yard line. The Lions found themselves deeper in their own territory after being penalized for an illegal procedure and on the replay of down from their 7-yard line, V. Benton's pass intended for Reeves fell just beyond his finger tips.  M. Hubbert found himself in unfamiliar territory lining up in his own end-zone to punt the ball away with Ray making the reception at the Lions 38-yard line and racing up the middle of the field where he was met for the stop by N. Young and K. Parson as well as others.

Facing first down at the 36-yard line, Ray took the hand-off over the left side of the line but M. Hubbert was on the stop after a 2-yard gain. Second down brought Parker with the ball out of the backfield for a 3-yard gain with N. Young on the solo tackle. Facing third down and five, Short went deep down field with a pass connection to Tyus who advanced into the end zone for the quick score. Short connected with Tyus for the two-point conversion and with 6:03 remaining in the ball game the Red Devils were down by only 14 points.

Short attempted an on-side kick but A. Dillard made the reception for the Lions at mid-field. D. Benton fought his way out of the backfield and around the right side of the line of scrimmage for a six-yard rushing attack on first down with Wright and Mims on the stop. Second down brought more of D. Benton with a carry over right tackle for the first down at the Devils 37-yard line before Bryan Rasberry was able to make the solo tackle. A. Palmer attempted a rushing attack but C. Smith fought across the line to make the stop in the backfield leaving the Lions facing second down and twelve-yards. D. Benton took the hand-off advancing out of the backfield over the right side of the line of scrimmage and then cutting back up the middle of the field behind his blockers reaching the 31-yard line with Mims on the tackle. Facing third down and four, D. Benton got the call to fight for the needed yardage once again but he was met by Smith and a host of other defenders near the 29-yard line leaving the Lions facing fourth down and two-yards. Sticking with D. Benton on the rushing attack proved successful as he took the hand-off up the middle for the first down at the 24-yard line. C. Smith and a host of angry defenders met A. Palmer at the line of scrimmage for the stop on first down. Second down brought more of D. Benton, who took the pitch out advancing over the right side of the line of scrimmage before cutting back to the middle of the field for a five-yard gain. D. Benton got the call to carry the ball once again and took the hand-off up the middle reaching the 17-yard line before Rasberry, C. Smith and a host of others could bring him down for the stop. Facing fourth down and three-yards, V. Benton called for the reverse with A. Palmer taking the ball over the right side of the line of scrimmage behind his blockers with Vessichio, Cleckler and others making the stop. Following the play officials called for a time-out for measurement with the results giving the Lions the first down with the ball placed just beyond the 14-yard line. Three consecutive snaps of the ball resulted in V. Benton taking a knee allowing time to expire on the game as the Lions exited Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium on Homecoming night as the 2014 out-right conference champions.

The Lions will travel to Franklin County on Thursday night this week to end the regular season schedule in a non-conference game with the Tharptown Wildcats. Game time is 7pm.

Comments from Head Coach Lamar Harris:
"Well we just didn't play our best tonight but we managed to come off the field with the win. The guys found themselves facing several good athletes from Verbena, some quality players who are very young and developing. We allowed ourselves to make some costly mistakes several times on the offensive side of the ball tonight. That's not good and it just proves it can happen on any given night in any game. However with that said, our offense did capitalize on a turn-over right after the half-time break which resulted in points as well as answering their first scoring drive with a quick score as well. The guys did play hard all throughout the night and they kept their focus until the very end and that allowed us to come off the field tonight with the win. Our defensive players continue to grow and they also gave an excellent effort tonight as well.  I'm very proud of this group of guys. They've accomplished team goals which were set early in the year and have won our Region as well as the out-right Conference Championship. We will continue our fight and stick to those team goals as we expect to finish out our season with a win next week as we visit Tharptown. Tonight there was another large crowd in the stadium, but that's expected on homecoming. I'm proud that the alumni who attended tonight were able to witness the dedication of this group of guys and I'm hopeful we have our usual load and supportive fan base on Thursday night as we close out our regular season schedule."
Last Updated on Sunday, 23 August 2015 20:16
 
 

Site Sponsors

Sears
Hometown Store
216 2nd St. NE
Fayette, AL 35555
Line 1: (205)904-8515
Line 2: (205)904-8535
Mon-Sat:9a-7p Sun:1p-6p
Berry Service Center
17660 Hwy 18 East
(205)689-8388
Brakes, Tires, Oil Changes, Tuneups, AC Work, Diesel Services, ATV and SideXSide Repair
Free diagnostics with any service.
Owners: Derek Anthony / Ben Hallman
Berryhill's Roofing and Remodeling
Steven Berryhill
(205)412-4175
Pirate Pawn
1168 US HWY 43
Winfield, AL 35594
(205)487-5588
Email: piratepawn@yahoo.com
Twitter/Instagram: @pirate_pawn
Facebook: piratepawn
Owner: Ted Norris
Aldridge Photography
2283 County Road 73
Winfield, AL 35594
(205)595-5938
Email: hub_lady@yahoo.com
Facebook: Aldridge Photography
Owner: Amy Aldridge