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October 25, 2012

TALKIN' PREP FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Jones gives Eagles edge versus Winston County

CULLMAN — On paper, this year’s Vinemont (6-2, 4-2 in Class 3A, Region 7) and Winston County (5-3, 4-2) football teams are practically identical.

Both have bounced back from horrendous showings in 2011 — the Eagles were 1-9, while the Yellow Jackets were winless. Both enter Week 9 already holding playoff spots with much-improved records. Both have only lost to Hamilton and Hanceville.

So if these two squads are really so similar, what — or who — could Vinemont have that its region rival doesn’t?

For those playing along at home, the answer is two words and one name — Ty Jones.

With four straight 200-yard rushing performances and six in seven games, the bruising running back has easily separated himself from the competition as Cullman County’s best player this season. Behind an exceptional offensive line, the senior and his trusty sidekick, Tyler Boland, have the Eagles off to their best start since 2009, the last year they made the playoffs.

As if he hadn’t proven himself enough already, Jones marched into a hostile Winfield environment last Friday and handed Vinemont its postseason berth on a silver platter with 262 rushing yards on 34 carries and five total touchdowns in the team’s 45-32 victory.

The senior’s latest sensational showing upped his season totals to 1,561 rushing yards in 198 attempts (7.9 yards per attempt) and 23 touchdowns. Jones is on pace to finish the regular season with 1,951 yards and nearly 29 scores.

Jones and Boland will certainly have the opportunity to go wild against the Yellow Jackets, who have allowed 61 and 46 points in consecutive losses to Hanceville and Hamilton. Vinemont’s two Tylers will want to be the latest to pile on the points in what could be their last home game of the season.

Of course, it might not be, either. A win against the Yellow Jackets, as well as a Hanceville loss to Cordova, would ensure the first postseason game played at the Pinnacle since 1993.

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