FHS Wildcats end 27-game losing streak with 31-6 win

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 12, 2002

It's over. The Florala Wildcats ended one of the longest losing streaks in high school football history with a 31-6 victory against the visiting Zion Chapel Rebels on Thursday.

First-year Florala Head Coach Doug Vickery did not wait until the final second ticked off the clock to start spreading the news.

Vickery said he had a quote for the newspaper with about three minutes left in regulation.

"The streak is over," he said.

He spent the remainder of the game dodging coolers filled with ice water as players tried to ambush him with a celebration dunk.

Despite all the distractions, Vickery never quit coaching and pumped his fist in the air when the final horn sounded before doing his best Jimmy V impersonation by running around the gridiron hugging players and assistant coaches.

He was a happy man - happy for his players.

"Let me tell you one thing right now, 'The streak is over,'" Vickery told his players as the huddled up after the game. "You were here the night they broke the streak. You'll always remember that. You'll tell your grandkids about it."

The Wildcats broke the streak after playing the Rebels to a scoreless tie in the first half.

The Rebels got possession of the ball to start the second half, but fumbled the ball on the second play of the half and Florala's Vance Gettis recovered it at the 23-yard line. Six plays later, another fumble got the Wildcats on the scoreboard. Wildcat running back Victor Hobdy took a handoff, ran into a pile of would-be tacklers and fumbled the ball. Florala quarterback Tyler Hughes scooped up the bouncing pigskin and raced into the end zone for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead with 7:58 left in the third period.

Florala's defense forced a punt on Zion Chapel's next possession and the offense needed just two plays to double the lead.

Hughes hit A.J. Thompson on an option pass play for 26 yards and then Hobdy scored on a 16-yard run. The TD gave Florala a 12-0 lead with 6:17 remaining in the third quarter.

A pass interception set up the next score. Heath Bedsole picked off a Zion Chapel pass and returned it to the seven-yard line. A penalty gave Florala a first down at the 28.

Five plays later, the Wildcats scored on the first play of the fourth quarter when Hughes hit Anthony Lynn for a 13-yard touchdown via the pass for an 18-0 lead.

Zion Chapel turned the ball over again on the next possession when the ball slipped out of the quarterback's hands and Florala junior offensive lineman Marcus Scofield picked it off and went 25 yards for a touchdown. Scofield's TD gave the Wildcats a 24-0 lead with 10:26 remaining in the game.

Florala's defense added one more touchdown when Corderus Smiley tagged the Zion Chapel quarterback causing a fumble which Vance Gettis scooped up and ran 60 yards for a touchdown. Kelvin Lewis added the PAT for a 31-0 lead with 3:58 remaining in the game.

Zion Chapel managed to score a late touchdown when Michael Rayburn scored on a three-yard run. The PAT was no good and Florala held a 31-6 lead with 2:33 remaining.

The Wildcats recovered the onside kick and then ran three plays before punting it back to the Rebels.

The Rebels ran just two plays before time expired and the end of the streak became official.