Phil Campbell, Vina suffer fines, suspensions after Friday night scuffle
Homecoming in Vina took an ugly turn Friday night. Phil Campbell won the game 48-0; the score, however, wasn’t the issue. It was what transpired midway through the fourth quarter that marred the night’s game and events.
After scoring to go up 48-0, Phil Campbell attempted what appeared to be an onside kick. Vina recovered the ball, but punches appeared to be thrown in the pile.
In a matter of seconds, several players from both sides were involved in an altercation. Players came off both sidelines, and fans ran onto the field from the home side of the stadium.
Order was quickly restored by officials on the field, school officials and law enforcement. Vina’s public address announcer was clear in telling fans to stay off the field.
The Alabama High School Athletic Association began investigating the incident Saturday morning and did not complete the investigation until Monday afternoon.
The investigation resulted in several fines and suspensions. No names were released because of privacy laws regarding students.
Both coaches expressed regret for what transpired. Phil Campbell Coach Kevin Barnwell said the ultimate responsibility falls on him for his team’s actions.
“I take full ownership,” said the second-year head coach. “It is my responsibility as head coach to own that situation and move forward. We had some miscommunication that resulted in the kick. We didn’t intend to be disrespectful to Vina. It was not intended to be an onside kick. We will take care of that.”
“I’m the head coach, and I’m responsible for our kids,” said Vina Coach Ben Guin. “I hope our kids and our fans have learned a lesson about what you can and cannot do. We will move on from this and hopefully be better for it.”
Phil Campbell dominated the actual game, holding Vina to 27 total yards while piling up 389 yards of total offense.
Luke Barnwell completed nine of 13 passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns. Austen Baker had four catches – three for touchdowns – for 100 yards. Baker also rushed for a touchdown.
Phil Campbell’s first score came with 9:35 to go in the first quarter on a 23-yard run by Trey Leindecker. Abraham Gonzalez kicked his first of six extra points on the night to give the Bobcats a 7-0 lead.
Phil Campbell scored again with 5:41 to go in the opening quarter on a 14-yard run by Baker to give the Bobcats a 14-0 lead.
Phil Campbell blew the game open in the second quarter on three touchdown passes by Luke Barnwell to give the Bobcats a commanding 35-0 lead at halftime. The touchdown passes were a 16-yard strike to Ridge Raper and 14- and 15-yard passes to Baker.
Phil Campbell added a score in the third quarter on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Raper to Baker with 7:57 to go.
The Bobcats added one final score, a 51-yard pass completion from Eli Jackson to Sage Raper, with 7:09 to go in the game. The touchdown would be the final offensive play of the game.
Baylee Hutcheson was crowned Vina’s homecoming queen at halftime.
Phil Campbell will host Phillips Friday night for homecoming. Vina has an open date Friday night and will not play. The Red Devils will return to play Oct. 4 at Mars Hill.