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Vina drops rivalry game to Panthers

By Josh Prewitt for the FCT


The Vina Red Devils (2-6, 0-5) went on the road into a rival environment at Panther Stadium, where Hackleburg clinched the Class 1A, Region 8 championship Friday night with a 34-12 victory over Vina.

Stone Fincher had a big night for the Panthers, rushing for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries to lead the Panthers (6-2, 5-0 region). Hackleburg finished with 260 yards rushing and 346 total yards.

Fincher gave the Panthers an early 6-0 lead with a five-yard touchdown run. Hackleburg extended its lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter when Kaleb Moore hit Evan Crowe for a 53-yard scoring play. Fincher ran for the 2-point conversion. Another touchdown made it 21-0 at halftime, and Hackleburg pushed the lead further to 28-0 in the third quarter before Vina started to make some headway.

Senior Tyler Renfrow tried to rally the Red Devils back with two quick scores in the third quarter. Renfrow scored on a one-yard run to trim the margin to 28-6. Vina then intercepted a pass and returned it to the Hackleburg 20. Renfrow later scored on an eight-yard run to make it 28-12, but the comeback attempt wouldn’t last, as the Panthers put it away when Fincher scored on a one-yard run early in the fourth quarter to increase the lead to 34-12, which would ultimately be final.

“I thought we kept fighting the whole game. We made a good run at the end of the third quarter,” Head Coach Luke Childers said. “We moved the ball really well inside the 20’s but just couldn’t finish it off in the first half.

“We really want these seniors to get a win in their final game, so I know the whole team will play their hearts out this week.”

Vina plays their last game at home this Friday on senior night against the Tharptown Wildcats (1-7, 1-5).