Phil Campbell defeats Vina 41-15 to end long losing streak
VINA – The Phil Campbell football team scored early and often to secure a 41-15 victory over Vina to end a 15-game losing streak dating back to 2006.
The offense put on a show, scoring 21 points on its first nine plays in the first quarter.
"We went in trying to get everything balanced out," sophomore quarterback Jordan Benford said. "I got some good looks passing."
Benford used those looks to amass 228 passing yards and four touchdowns. He also got the job done with his legs, rushing for 73 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.
On the Bobcats' first play of the game, Benford found Adam Mitchell for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Benford hit Mitchell with a 21-yard scoring strike on the second play of the next offensive series.
The third touchdown was a 28-yard pass to Justin Thompson.
"We moved the ball well," Thompson said of the offensive outburst. "Coach Parker called some great plays."
Vina (1-4, 1-3) scored the only points in the second quarter when Brent Townsend found Cass White in the end zone for a 13-yard pass to cut the Bobcat's lead to 21-7.
Daniel Bryant added to the Phil Campbell lead when he scored on a 52-yard run, but Townsend answered moments later with a 13-yard pass to Aaron Gray.
Benford padded the lead in the fourth quarter with a 66-yards scoring pass to Dillan Hamby and by running it from 24 yards out.
Vina had several opportunities to score, but penalties and turnovers kept the Red Devils from keeping the game closer.
After Phil Campbell (1-4, 0-3) jumped out to a 14-0 lead, Townsend broke free for what appeared to be a 75-yard touchdown run. A penalty wiped the points off the board and Vina fumbled on the next play to end the drive.
On the night, Vina lost two fumbles and threw three interceptions.
"We let them throw three touchdowns on us in the first quarter and gave up some big plays," said Vina coach Bill Smith. "Then we started turning (the ball) over and it killed us."
Hamby recorded two interceptions for the Bobcats. He was also the leading receiver with three catches for 76 yards.
Bryant was Phil Campbell's leading rusher, carrying the ball 11 times for 96 yards and the touchdown.
Townsend competed 17-of-29 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the Red Devil rushing attack with 95 yards on 12 carries.
Morgan McCarley caught eight passes for 98 yards to lead Vina.
Phil Campbell coach Michael Parker was pleased with the way his team played and said they are learning how to win and why the coaches ask them to do the things they do.
The players were just happy to get the monkey off their back.
"It feels great," said senior lineman Houston Hilliard. "It good to get the confidence."
The confidence could be useful as the Bobcats host fifth-ranked Red Bay. Vina will travel to Phillips.
As good as the win felt, Hilliard said there were no plans for a big victory celebration.
"I'm just going to go home and get some sleep," he said.