The Airline Vikings dominated the North Webster Knights 49-21 in a non-district game Friday night in Springhill.
Airline improved to 4-3 overall. North Webster, a Class 3A school, dropped to 2-5.
Senior running back Cameron “JoJo” Davis scored three touchdowns in the first half as the Vikings built a 35-0 lead.
Airline ran the ball 41 times for 369 yards, an average of 9 yards per play. Davis led the way with 115 yards on just 12 carries. He also caught a 41-yard pass.
Junior quarterback Jordan Gladney, making his first start in place of injured Brad Fream, threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Nate Fullilove.
Coby McGee accounted for 79 yards (57 rushing, 22 receiving) and scored a rushing touchdown.
Adrian Brooks also scored a rushing touchdown. C.J. George caught two passes for 59 yards. Thomas Williams rushed for 69 yards on just two carries and scored a TD.
Freshman Jackson Tinkis was perfect on seven PAT kicks.
The Vikings recovered two Tinkis skykicks and forced several other turnovers.
“We got some short fields,” Airline coach Bo Meeks said. “The offense executed really well, particularly for Jordan’s first game. We were really able to establish the run which helped us.
“I was pleased with the overall effort. Jackson Tinkis did an unbelievable job. It was just a good overall effort against a good, solid North Webster football team.”
Fream, a junior who started the Vikings’ first six games, suffered a separated left (non-throwing) shoulder in last week’s game against Evangel Christian. Meeks said his status for the rest of the season remains uncertain.
“He’s pretty beat up right now for sure,” Meeks said.
Gladney has some experience. He started two preseason scrimmages while Fream recovered from an injury.
Gladney completed seven of 13 passes for 152 yards and two TDs. He also rushed for 34 yards.
“He played really well,” Meeks said. “He made some plays with his legs and made a couple of nice throws, just kind of kept us moving. The offensive line did a good job in the run game. I was really proud of that.”
Airline came into the game at No. 27 in the Class 5A power rankings. A fifth win Friday in the final home game against Captain Shreve (3-4), which lost to Haughton 24-14 Thursday, will virtually assure the Vikings of a playoff spot.
Airline closes out the regular season with games against Byrd and Haughton.
Meeks said the Friday’s convincing win should give his team some momentum going into the home stretch. The Vikings will likely get a home first-round playoff game if they can win their final three games.
“It was good to get our feet back under us,” he said. “It was kind of an unusual week with the fall break. Glad to get through that and get back to normal as far as our schedule. I thought our kids handled it really well. We’ve got some tough ones left. We just have to prepare for that.”
— Russell Hedges, firstname.lastname@example.org