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Physical Fannin cashes in on Vikings’ miscues

Turnovers doom Vikings; Witt scores 3 TDs in loss

POSTED: October 14, 2011 10:54 p.m.

THE BLITZ: Fannin County at East Hall

High school football highlights from Friday, Oct. 14, 2011: Fannin County at East Hall.

SCOTT ROGERS/The Times

East Hall's Cameron Davis cuts back against Fannin County's Jordan Gray, left, for a big gain during the first half of the Vikings game with the Rebels at East Hall Stadium Friday night.

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Fannin County turned four East Hall turnovers into three touchdowns and held off a late Vikings rally for a 35-19 win at East Hall Stadium Friday night.

It was the first subregion loss for the Vikings (4-3, 2-1 8-AA North) and the first win for the Rebels (4-3, 1-2) in just their second game under interim head coach Greg Chambers.

Former head coach Clark Drennan was relieved of his duties just prior to last week's game due to a personnel decision by the administration, Chambers said.

"It feels great for the kids," said Chambers, who is also the school's athletic director. "Last week was such a shock for them, but we got back to the way we play football - physical for four quarters."

Fannin County sophomore running back Peyton Satterfield led the way with 137 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Senior Blake Henry added 123 yards and two scores on 14 carries.

Jamond Witt led the Vikings with three touchdowns and 115 yards on 19 carries.

He scored two touchdowns in the fourth as the Vikings rallied from a 35-7 hole, but it was too little, too late for East Hall.

"We did not come mentally prepared and we as a team and a staff underestimated our opponent," said Vikings coach Bryan Gray. "They physically punched us in the mouth and we didn't respond."

East Hall missed a number of great chances to score earlier in the game. On three occasions, the Vikings had the ball on the Fannin County 5-yard line but couldn't come away with any points.

Because of the missed opportunities the Vikings' recent momentum has stalled.

"We're never going to be successful at East Hall until the players learn to believe in themselves," Gray said. "When East Hall learns to compete week in and week out, we're going to be a very good football team."

The loss is a reality check in that the Vikings also started the subregion schedule last year 2-0 before falling to Fannin County 20-7 to spark a four-game skid.

The Vikings will be looking to avoid a repeat of that late-season slide this season when they travel to Dawson County next week.

East Hall did look good in their opening drive of the game and when scoring two touchdowns in the final four minutes of the game, but Fannin County took advantage of the Vikings mistakes.

East Hall finished with 310 yards of offense, while Fannin County tallied 321 yards, 308 on the ground.

The big difference was the turnover margin, with Fannin County giving it away twice and East Hall four times.

East Hall did march right down the field on the opening drive of the game and Witt finished a 10-play, 63-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run.

Then Fannin County took over. The Rebels covered 80 yards in a minute, capped by a 30-yard touchdown run by Peyton Satterfield to tie the score at 7-7.

Fannin County took advantage of a pair of East Hall turnovers to add two more touchdowns and lead at the half 21-7.

After a high snap on a Vikings punt recovered at the 5, Satterfield took two plays to find the end zone.

And after an East Hall fumble on the next possession, Fannin County recovered at the 20 and Trevor Stone dove 2 yards to put the visitors ahead by two scores.

East Hall had a chance to respond on a Rebels turnover, a fumble on a pitch recovered by the Vikings. But a promising drive that included a 25-yard pass from Cameron Davis to Witt to the 5 yard line, ended in a missed 27-yard field goal after a penalty drove the Vikings back.

Penalties were a problem for the hosts in the first half, being assessed five penalties for 45 yards.

Running back Austen Mahaffey tallied a team-high 43 yards on six carries in the first half. Leading rusher Witt could only muster 16 yards on eight carries, due in large part to four runs for a loss.

The Vikings compiled 97 rushing yards total in the first half and 127 yards total.

Fannin County, behind Satterfield (11 carries for 74 yards) and Henry (seven carries for 55 yards), compiled 144 total yards, 132 on the ground.



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