The first two times that Vandalia crossed the goal line, Carlinville responded with touchdowns. But, after the Vandals’ third score, the Cavaliers’ attempt to tie the game was snuffed out.
Carlinville was driving deep inside Vandalia territory with less than a minute left in the game, but a sack and forced fumble secured the Vandals win.
Now 2-0, the Vandals will travel to Virden to take on North Mac, a new member of the South Central Conference.
In Friday’s win, the Vandals opened the scoring with 8:28 left in the first quarter on a 9-yard run by quarterback Matthew Hagy, with Kanon Wollerman adding the extra-point kick.
Carlinville knotted the score at 7 at the 9:44 mark of the second quarter on an 8-yard pass from Rex Reels to Henry Kufa and the extra-point kick by Ryenn Hart.
Vandalia went up 14-6 at the start of the third quarter when Hagy scooped up a fumble caused by Eric McKinney and scored from 3 yards out, with Wollerman adding the extra point.
Carlinville again tied the score with 5:02 left in the quarter on a 55-yard run by Jack Rouse and Hart’s extra point.
The winning score, a 1-yard run by McKinney, came with 6:11 left in the game, with Wollerman’s kick making it 21-14.
Carlinville was driving for a tying score close to paydirt, when a penalty moved them back and a sack a fumble giving the ball back to Vandalia with less than a minute left.
“I’m proud of our kids, the way they played,” coach Jason Clay said.
“Let’s give Carlinville credit,” he said. “They came out and smashed the ball on us and hit us in the mouth and played their hearts out.
“We made enough plays to get it done,” he said.
“They’re a good football program, always have been and were challenged this week. They’re going to win a lot of games.
“Obviously,” Clay said, “the turnover right at the start of the second half (an interception by Hagy in the Cavaliers’ end zone) was a huge play, and we are able to get going after that.”
Now, he said, “We’ve got to look ourselves in the mirror and see where we’ve got to get better, and move on.”
Vandalia 21, Carlinville 14
Rushing: 29 for 142 yds, 2 TD’s
•Matthew Hagy-12 carries for 76 yds, TD
•Eric McKinney-14 carries for 61 yds, TD
•Andrew Kelly-2 carries for 2 yds
•Pierson Wilkerson-1 carry for 3 yds
Passing: 11 for 21, 144 yards, INT
•Matthew Hagy: 11 for 21, 144 yards, INT
Receiving: 11 for 144 yards
•Pierson Wilkerson-4 for 62 yds
•Preston Nestrick-3 for 54 yds
•Andrew Kelly-2 for 14 yds
•Eric McKinney-1 for 7 yds
•Chase McNary-1 for 7 yds
Total Offense = 286 yds
Landon Christian-1 solo, 1 assist
•Tristan Eller-1 assist
•Andrew Kelly-4 solo, 4 assists
•Eric McKinney-6 solo, 4 assists, 2 for -6 yds
•Reid Well-2 assists
•Matthew Hagy-1 solo, 1 assist
•Preston Nestrick-3 solo, 2 assists
•Conner Thierry-4 solo, 5 assists, 1 for -1 yd
•Jay Keck-1 solo
•Chase McNary-1 solo
•Brody Roberts-1 solo
•Christian DuPlayee-2 solo, 5 assists, 0.5 for -3 yds
•Logan Nance-3 solo, 6 assists
•Justus Larimer-2 assists
•Justin Proctor-1 assist, 0.5 for -1 yd
•Lane McCormick-4 solo, 6 assists, 0.5 for -1 yd
•Carson Lotz-2 solo, 4 assists
•Dalton White-1 solo, 4 assists, 0.5 for -3 yds
•Matthew Hagy-3 yd TD
•Matthew Hagy-19 yds
Scoring summary: Vandalia 21, Carlinville 14
V – 1st qtr.-8:28, 9-yd run, Matthew Hagy, Kanon Wollerman Kick V 7-0
C – 2nd qtr.-9:44, 8-yd pass, Rex Reels to Henry Kufa, Ryenn Hart Kick 7-7
V – 3rd qtr.-11:46, 3-yd Fumble Return, Matthew Hagy, Wollerman Kick V 14-7
C – 3rd qtr.-5:02, 55-yd run, Jack Rouse, Hart Kick 14-14
V – 4th qtr.-6:11, 1-yd run, Eric McKinney, Wollerman Kick V 21-14
Game statistics provided by Hannah Edgar