THS blanks Vina in fall jamboree
By Bart Moss
For the FCT
The Tharptown Wildcats and the Vina Red Devils met for a pre-season contest Thursday night where Tharptown defeated the Vina 22-0.
The two teams have a long history together being former region rivals and sometimes playing twice in a season. This year will be different, however. With Tharptown’s move to 2A, this pre-season jamboree would be the two teams’ only meeting.
Tristan Smith got the Wildcats on the board first with an 8-yard touchdown run with 7:00 remaining in the first quarter.
Vina was able to move the football on the ensuing drive but penalties kept preventing the Red Devils from getting a lot of momentum. The drive ended with an interception by Tharptown safety Nathan Chaney.
Long runs by Mikey Rossan and Tristen Smith put the Wildcats in scoring position but the Vina defense came up big deep in Wildcat territory. After stopping Tharptown three times inside the 10-yard line, Vina’s Chance Griffith forced and recovered a Tharptown fumble.
Vina was unable to move the ball on the ensuing drive. After a very short punt by the Red Devils, Smith scampered 36-yards to pay dirt for the Wildcats. Shawn Hines added the extra point to give the Tharptown a 15-0 lead with 3:02 to go in the second quarter.
Another costly mistake on the next drive by Vina, a turnover, allowed the Wildcats to score with 00:27 to go in the half. Mike Rice powered his way into the end zone from three yards out. Hines’ PAT gave the Wildcats a 22-0 lead at halftime.
Both teams will open the regular season Friday night, Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. Tharptown will travel to Phillips. Vina will host Southeastern School.