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Red Devils lose heartbreaker

By Josh Prewitt for the FCT

Vina (1-7, 0-6) came into the Senior Night game looking to end the year in the winning column as the Tharptown Wildcats (2-7, 2-5) came into Franklin-Hester Stadium. The Wildcats, however, pulled the W for the night, getting their second win of the year, sneaking past the Red Devils 27-26.

After a tight first half, Vina took an 18-7 lead into the half, then the two teams went back and forth with scores in the third quarter. Payton Price would make things interesting, scoring on a 20-yard touchdown run for the Wildcats to make it 18-14 before the Red Devils answered back to increase their lead to 26-14.

 

Vina held a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but Tharptown mounted a comeback, scoring two touchdowns to get their first lead of the game. The Wildcats held Vina on downs in the closing seconds to preserve the win.

 

“It was the toughest loss I have ever been a part of as a player or coach,” Coach Luke Childers said. “I hate that we couldn’t win for those seniors in their last game. I know we didn’t win a lot of games and reach some of the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year, but I’m proud of all those boys, and I’m going miss this group of seniors.”

 

Defensive Coach Jason Harris, who built a bond with these seniors, added, “I’ve been coaching for 17 years, and I’ve never been as close to any group of kids as I’ve been with them,” Harris said. “A piece of me is leaving with them.”

 

Austin Petree said it was a “hard-fought game.”

 

“I know all of us seniors gave it all we had,” he said. “I’m going to miss playing with all of my friends. It’s also been a long journey playing for Vina, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

 

Each senior had his own thoughts to add about Vina Red Devils football.

 

Gage Keller: “I wish it would have gone a little better, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I’m going to miss playing with my brothers. We grew a great bond out there on that field together. I’m really going to miss Coach Harris and Coach Luke, also; they are great people.

 

Joshua Cochran: “I hate to see our last game go because it was my last football game, and I hated how it ended, but I wouldn’t trade that group of brothers I had on that team for any other team, no matter if we went 2-8 or 8-2.”

 

Andrew Upton: “I just want to say I’m thankful for the opportunity to play for Vina High School my whole life. We didn’t win as many games as we wanted to, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I’m going to miss putting on my pads and playing, but I made memories that’ll last a lifetime.”

 

Chris Brewer: “What they don’t tell you about football is how hard it is to hang up your pads one last time. This football season has meant more to me than what any other season has. It was an honor to play for Vina and represent this town. The bond with all my brothers is something no one could ever break or describe. This is our team, and those boys will always be my brothers.”

 

James Barnes: “I’m going to miss playing for Vina because when you lace up your cleats, you have this feeling that you want to show off what you worked so hard for. I’m going to miss putting a show on for the people who came and supported me and my brothers. That bond we built when we came together as brothers – that’s going to be a memory to last a lifetime.”

 

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