Vigor came up 1 point short in its quest for a 5A state football championship, falling 43-42 to Central-Clay County on Thursday at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.
The Wolves, who trailed 21-16 at halftime despite holding Central to 52 yards of offense, had taken a 42-36 lead on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Walker to Artel Howell with 6:40 to play. Vigor stopped the Volunteers on their next possession, but Central forced a Vigor punt and got the ball back at midfield with 2:18 to play.
The Volunteers converted on a fourth-and-10 with a 17-yard pass from Phillip Ogles to Shamari Simmons and game MVP Quentin Knight then scored from a yard out. Clayton Yates added the game-winning extra point with 38 seconds to play.
Vigor drove to the Central 25 in the final seconds but the clock ran out before the Wolves could get another play off.
“First and foremost, congratulations to the team we played, the Central-Clay Volunteers — they played a heck of a game,” Vigor coach Deric Scott said afterward. “Secondly, I want to say thank you to my players and Vigor Nation and the Vigor staff. This has been the most rewarding season of mine as a coach and I’m thankful for all the opportunities that came along in this season for our guys.
“I’m extremely proud of these young men. I don’t want to taint or take anything away from what they have accomplished this year. The numbers don’t lie. They were a very good team.”
The Wolves finished the season 13-2 with each loss coming by a single point. Walker threw for 337 yards and four touchdowns, while Howell caught six passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns and also returned a punt 71 yards for a score. Vigor rolled up 394 yards of offense, but suffered four turnovers — two of which were returned for touchdowns in the first half.