By Jake Winfrey
The Cullman Times
As the season winds down for the Vinemont Eagles, Ty Jones just keeps on bruising the opposition.
The senior running back toted the rock 25 times for 192 yards, scoring five touchdowns along the way as the Eagles (7-2, 5-2 in Class 3A, Region 7) used a strong second half to defeat Winston County, 47-20, on Friday evening.
“You know, we had a sloppy first half, but it was a good win for us,” coach Alan Scott said. “I’m proud of how hard our kids played tonight.”
The Eagles found themselves in an early hole as the Yellow Jackets needed just five plays to move the ball 75 yards and into the endzone, taking an early 7-0 lead on a two-yard touchdown run from Clay Brooks.
Vinemont, however, would answer on its very first play from scrimmage as Jones carried the ball 61 yards around right end to make it a 7-6 ballgame.
On the following Winston County possession, the Eagles recovered a fumble at the Yellow Jackets 43-yard line. It was the first of four turnovers the Eagles forced in the game.
From there, Jones would find the endzone four plays later, scoring from 15 yards out to make it a 13-7 game.
After a three-and-out from the Yellow Jackets, the Vinemont ground attack continued its dominance.
A 30-yard run from Tyler Boland would put the Eagles deep inside Yellow Jacket territory where Jones would make it a 20-7 game on another touchdown run, this one of eight yards.
Vinemont led 20-13 going into the half after a few costly plays let Winston County back in the game.
It was after halftime where the Eagles completely ran away with the game.
“I thought we settled down a lot in the second half,” Scott said. “We had some big stops on defense and some nice plays in the passing game. We did what we needed to do to win it.”
The Eagles took the opening kickoff of the second half and used 12 plays to march it all the way down the field, eventually scoring on a two-yard run from Jones to make it a two-score game.
Jones would also add a three-yard score early in the fourth quarter and came up just eight yards shy of reaching his fifth straight 200-yard game.
“I have got to give credit to my offensive line,” Jones said. “They’ve been great all year long at blocking the edge.”
Jones added he gets satisfaction from his team running the ball on most plays.
“The other teams know what’s coming and they still can’t stop it,” he said.
The Vinemont defense would be the story for the rest of the half, forcing a couple turnovers and getting some key fourth down stops en route to a runaway victory.
Vinemont also got contributions from the do-a-little-bit-of-everything Boland. The senior finished with 82 rushing yards and 54 receiving, including an 18-yard touchdown catch late in the game.
Quarterback Duncan Hopper completed four of his six passes and according to his coach “managed the game well until the very end.”
Sophomore Tyler Johnson added 50 total yards of offense and freshman John Michael Dye scored on a four-yard run in the game’s closing minutes.
With a Hanceville victory, the Eagle seniors have played their last game at home, as they will be on the road for the rest of the season, including the playoffs.
“Me and my teammates wanted to come out here and give it all we had,” Jones said. “We have been a second half team all year and it showed tonight.”
Scott also had praise for his seniors.
“The seniors have just been great,” he said. “Guys like Logan Wallace, who’s been a four-year starter on the offensive line, and Teddy Drake, who’s been a leader for us on defense all year long. Those guys, among others, have been great leaders this year.
The Eagles will now shift their focus to their game against Randolph next week, a game Scott hopes to use as a launching pad going into the playoffs.
“We need to solidify the things we do well next week,” the coach said. “We need to have a good week of practice and be ready to go out there and play well next Friday.”
% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.