This past Friday was homecoming for Metter High School and it was a day full of fun around campus and the community, but once the pep rallies and parades were through it was time for some football.
Friday night’s game was a huge match up in Region 2 AA as the Metter Tigers welcomed the Vidalia Indians into the Jungle. Both teams sat at 3-1 in region play and the winner of Friday’s matchup would put each in a great position to not only make the playoffs, but potentially host a first round playoff game.
There was no doubt it would be a tough game, but the Metter defense showed up and had their best performance of the season. They were able to keep a dangerous Vidalia offense out of the endzone and hold them to just three points in the game. The Tiger defense also forced four turnovers enroute to their biggest win of the season, a 21-3 victory to take the Tigers season record to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the region.
The game would begin with Vidalia receiving the opening kick-off. Vidalia’s Jackie Robinson caught the kick at the 30 yard line and was able to return it 11 yards to the 41 yard line. The Indians would begin the game with an 11 yard run by Darrell Brown, but on the second play of the game the Metter defense hit Brown in the backfield and knocked the ball loose. Metter’s TJ Davis fell on the loose ball to give the Tigers the ball at the Indians 44. This fumble also adds to a very impressive stat for the Tiger defense this season. In nine games the defense has only allowed one opponent to put together a sustained drive on their opening possession. Jenkins County was able to drive the field and score in game two, but in the other eight games Metter’s defense has forced four fumbles and four three and out punts, a stat that contributes to Metter having one of the best defenses in AA football.
Metter’s offense was ready to take over and take advantage of this turnover. It would be Ahmod Collins and Antwan Coney doing the work on this short drive, a seven play drive capped off by a 12 yard touchdown run by Ahmod Collins. Zach Davis’ extra point kick was good and the Tigers took an early 7-0 lead.
Following the touchdown, Metter would kick it back to Vidalia. Jackie Robinson fielded the kick at the 18 and returned it 16 yards out to the 34 yard line. Vidalia’s second drive would be more successful than the first. Quarterback Marc Wardlaw opened the drive with a 17 yard run over midfield. The Indians would continue to drive the ball, connecting on a couple of passes and getting the ball all the way down to the 22 before the drive stalled. On fourth down Vidalia decided to kick a field goal. Brennan Dooley came on to try a kick from 40 yards out. His kick had plenty of leg and was good, putting Vidalia on the scoreboard.
The score with only 48 seconds remaining in the first quarter was 7-3 in favor of the Tigers. This would really be all the offense the Indians would muster. After the first quarter the Tiger defense would dominate, only allowing Vidalia to pick up three more first downs the remainder of the game and keeping them off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
Vidalia would kick the ball off following the field goal and the kick was hauled in at the 33 with no return. The Tigers would only run two plays before the first quarter would end. As the second quarter began the Tigers were facing a third and eight after the first two runs only gained one yard a piece. Quarterback Taj Hobbs took to the air connecting with running back Ahmod Collins on a 14 yard pass to pick up the first down. The rushing attack kept the ball moving picking up another first down, but a three yard loss and a penalty on back to back plays put the offense behind schedule facing third and 12. This time, however, Hobbs’ pass was incomplete and brought up fourth and 12. This would bring out Zach Davis to punt. Davis got the punt off and when the ball came down it hit the Vidalia return man on the leg making it a live ball. Metter jumped on the ball at the 15, retaining possession and keeping the drive alive. Unfortunately, the offense would not be able to take advantage of the renewed drive and the short field. A holding penalty on second down put the tiger offense behind the chains again. On fourth down Metter decided to attempt a field goal themselves. Zach Davis came on to try a 42 yard kick. Davis was not able to convert on the field goal, missing low and left, so the score would remain 7-3.
Following the turnover on downs, Vidalia would take over at their own 20 yard line. The Metter defense got back to their stingy ways in the second quarter, only allowing the Indians to gain eight total yards in the quarter. This drive for Vidalia would be a quick three and out and a punt. Dawson Ricks came on for the Indians to punt the ball away. Ricks got off a booming 47 yard kick that rolled dead at the 29 yard line. Metter would take over there and get back to running the ball well. Ahmod Collins started things off with a ten yard pick up and a first down. Antwan Coney and Aaron Collins combined for another first down to get the ball to midfield, but on play number four the ball hit the turf and Vidalia was able to recover the fumble and take over at their own 44 yard line.
The Indians would only move the ball four yards on this drive before being forced to punt again. Dawson Ricks came on to punt again and again got off a good punt. This kick went 37 yards and rolled dead at the Metter 15. With less than a minute remaining in the half, Coach Garvin was content to run out the clock and take a 7-3 lead into halftime.
Metter would receive the second half kick-off. Antwan Coney fielded the kick at the 29 yard line and returned it nine yards out to the 38 where the Tiger offense would take over. The offense wouldn’t be able to get anything going on this drive against a tough Vidalia defense. This drive for Metter would be a quick three and out. On fourth and five Zach Davis would come on to punt the ball away. Davis kicked the ball 32 yards where it was momentarily bobbled by Jackie Robinson at the 25 before being picked up and returned 13 yards out to the 38 yard line. The Vidalia offense would take over there.
The Indians were able to move the ball a little on this drive picking up a first down and moving the ball over the 50, but the Metter defense would stiffen there and on fourth down and three the Tigers got into the backfield and stopped the Indians for a three yard loss. This would be a turnover on downs and give the Metter offense the ball back at the 45.
The offense got off to a slow start. A zero yard run, followed by a one yard run, brought up a quick third and nine. Again, Taj Hobbs would use his arm to keep the drive alive, connecting with Ahmod Collins for a second time. This pass and catch was good for a 19 yard gain and a first down. Aaron Collins carried the ball on three straight plays to pick up another Tiger first down. A false start penalty sandwiched between two one yard runs brought up third down and 13 to go. Taj Hobbs would again drop back to pass, and again find his running back, Ahmod Collins. This time Ahmod ran right through three would be tacklers and broke into the open field. He would shed one more Indian defender before crossing the goal line and scoring on the 25 yard pass play. Zach Davis was good on the extra point and with 1:35 to go in the third quarter the Tigers finally extended their lead to 14-3.
Zach Davis would come right back out to kick the ball off to the Indians. Jackie Robinson was waiting on the kick once again and he returned it eight yards out to the 35 yard line. The Vidalia offense came out to try and get something going. The first play of the drive was a three yard run by Robinson. The next play would be a run by Jaedyn Stanley. Stanley picked up about five yards and was met by a host of Tiger defenders. Everyone was pushing the pile when TJ Davis ripped the ball away from Stanley. Davis was only able to return the fumble four yards, but his big play gave the offense the ball back around midfield at the 45.
The offense would only get off one play, a nine yard run by Aaron Collins, before the third quarter would come to an end. As the fourth quarter began the Metter offense was struggling to move the ball against Vidalia’s defense. It was a bit of a one step forward, two steps back dance on this drive. After a holding penalty along with a fumbled snap on third down, the Tigers would be forced to punt. Zach Davis would come out to punt and he got off a 22 yard kick that was downed at the 24 yard line where Vidalia would take it over.
The Tiger defense was relentless in this game and they were certainly looking to close out this big win in the fourth quarter. Just like Vidalia’s first possession, on the second play of the drive Darrell Brown was hit and the ball knocked loose. Metter recovered the fumble and the offense would take over at the Vidalia 32 yard line. Aaron Collins and Ahmod Collins were the go to backs on this drive, alternating runs and picking up a first down, at the 20. On second and ten Ahmod Collins got loose again and took it to the house on a twenty yard touchdown run. Ahmod Collins’ third touchdown on the night would have the Tigers just about ready to drive the final nail in the coffin with 5:53 to go in the ball game. Zach Davis was a perfect three for three on extra points to make Metter’s lead 21-3.
Vidalia would get the ball back, desperately needing to make something happen. Zach Davis’ kick-off was fielded by Jackie Robinson at the 19 yardline where he was immediately hit for no gain. The Indians would take over at the 19 yard line, and needing to score quick, would take to the air. Quarterback Marc Wardlaw connected on three straight passes to move the ball up over midfield to the 47. On second down Wardlaw took a shot down field and the pass was intercepted by Taj Hobbs around the 20 yard line. Hobbs returned the pick 42 yards back over the 50 and down to the Vidalia 38. This would be the play to firmly drive the final nail into the coffin. Metter needed just one first down to be able to fully run the clock out and it came on third and seven when Ahmod Collins picked up seven yards. The first down meant Metter would only need to run two more plays before the clock would reach triple zeros.
Then the horn sounded it would be the Metter Tigers picking up a huge region win over the Vidalia Indians 21-3.
Coach Garvin got the ice bath on a cold Friday night to celebrate, and he also shared his thoughts on the victory with us. “Metter won a hard fought region 2AA game at home versus Vidalia. The Metter offensive line paved the way all night for the Metter backs with outstanding line play. Defensively, Elijah Dekle led all Tigers with nine total tackles. Freshmen CJ Donaldson and Kaliq Collins each added six tackles for a Metter defense that held a high powered Vidalia offense to three points and 130 total yards. Metter took the ball 4 times from Vidalia with CJ Donaldson, Walker Dollar and TJ Davis all taking fumbles with TJ having two, himself. Zach Davis was again perfect on the night with his point after attempts and his punting!
“Metter has a huge game at home this Friday night versus Jeff Davis. Please come out and support your Metter Tigers!”