Backup QB leads VHS to win

Published 12:05 am Saturday, August 27, 2011

Verbena football players celebrate Friday after a season opening win over Thorsby.

Pressed into action by an injury to Verbena’s starting quarterback, Jaryus Wilson threw for two touchdowns as the Red Devils edged Thorsby, 26-20, on Friday in a season opening game that came down to seconds.

Wilson’s first few series were spoiled by heavy pressure from the Thorsby defensive line, but the sophomore found Tyric’ Ray behind the defense for a 52-yard pass play on 4th down and nine yards to go with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter.

Taken down: Verbena’s Brady Pope (54) and Jeremy Creger tackle Thorsby ballcarrier Bo Hoffman during Friday’s game.

Wilson was sacked by Johnathon Spivey on the try for 2 points, but the score was tied at 14.

Verbena took its first lead on a 17-yard run by Duante Talley 40 seconds into the fourth quarter, but Thorsby’s Bo Hoffman tied the game with a 35-yard run with 5:33 on the clock.

Bay Lucas caught a 34-yard TD pass from Wilson with 2:02 remaining.

Hoffman took the ensuing kickoff to the end zone, but the run was called back because of a penalty.

Verbena’s Jacob Montgomery intercepted a Braden McRae pass on the third play of the possession, but fumbled the ball and Thorsby recovered, giving the Rebels another shot.

They made the most of it, as a flea flicker on the next play advanced the ball to the Verbena 11-yard line on a pass from McRae to Taylor Gunn.

The Devils defense stiffened to begin the celebration.

Wilson completed seven passes in 11 attempts for 154 yards. He rushed eight times for 51 more yards.

“He did an outstanding job,” Verbena coach Mike Harris said.

VHS scored first, on a 44-yard pass from Christian Coston to Jeremy Creger.

Coston found Lucas for the 2-point conversion.

Thorsby tied the game at 8 on a 17-yard pass from McRae to Stephen Mims and a 2-point conversion run by Matt Morgan.

Coston then went down with a gruesome leg injury and was carted off the field on a stretcher—as Mims would be later, with what appeared to be a neck or back injury.

The final score of the first half was a 5-yard pass on fourth down-and-goal to go from McRae to B.B. Evans.