GRACEVILLE — The Vernon Yellow Jackets were probably ready to fly home to their nest after the Graceville Tigers manhandled them 49-6 on Friday.
The Yellow Jackets (1-6) were already trailing 35-0 at the half when Vernon fumbled the opening kick return in the end zone and a flock of Tigers landed on the ball, giving Graceville the first touchdown of the second half before the clock even ticked once, upping the Tigers’ lead to 42-0.
The Tigers (5-2) now improve to 3-0 in the 2-1A District.
Fifty-one seconds later, Tigers sophomore Jared Padgett was back in the end zone after picking off a Yellow Jackets’ pass at the 35 and running it into the end zone, giving the Graceville squad a commanding 49-point lead and invoking the continuous clock.
Graceville’s Toquille Franklin was perfect for the evening in kicking, making all seven of his point-after attempts.
The Tigers’ senior Rasheed Campbell was responsible for the Tigers’ first score of the evening, scampering 67-yards on the first play of the game to score, just 15 seconds into the opening quarter.
Campbell also intercepted a Vernon pass inside the Yellow Jacket 20 and returned it to score, giving the Tigers a 14-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Padgett opened the second period by scoring on the first play, racing from behind the Tiger 36-yard line for a 67-yard touchdown only 25 seconds into the quarter.
Fourteen seconds later, senior Javonte Cotton scooped up a Yellow Jackets fumble at their own 20 and carried it into the end zone, bringing the Graceville lead to 28-0 with 11:21 left to play in the first half.
Senior CJ Miller scored the final touchdown of the second quarter when he broke through the middle of the Vernon line from 42-yards out and dashed into the endzone, capping a 62-yard, 5-play drive.
Vernon’s sole touchdown came with 1:56 left in the third quarter, when senior Nick Porter went up the middle from the Tigers 15-yard line to score. The two-point attempt was no good due to a fumbled snap, but the Yellow Jackets were on the board for six.
The Tigers travel to Jay next Friday and Vernon goes to Northview. Kick off is at 7 p.m.