Photo | Mike Kittrell
VICTORY WOULD SEND WOLVES TO TITLE GAME
The Vigor Wolves are a team on a mission. And so far, the mission is going well. Head coach John McKenzie has not been shy about speaking of the team’s ultimate goal — winning the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 4A state championship — and noting he believes he has a team capable of making that happen.
The Wolves are just two wins away from proving their coach correct. After a 26-10 win last Friday night at Blount High School over No. 2-ranked American Christian in the third round, Vigor now advances to the state semifinals to face the Jackson Aggies. Vigor defeated Jackson 39-13 in the regular season.
The Wolves are the lone team remaining from the Lagniappe coverage area still alive in the state playoffs. Based on that fact and the convincing victory over a solid American Christian team, Vigor has been selected as the Lagniappe Team of the Week. The award is sponsored by the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office.
This is the second time this season the Wolves have earned Team of the Week honors. They were also named Lagniappe’s first-ever Team of the Week following their season-opening victory over Blount.
“I thought we played well,” McKenzie said of the victory over American Christian. “We knew we were going up against a good team and I thought our defense set the stage for us. They produced five turnovers. We made a lot of mistakes offensively but I think the defense carried us like they’ve been doing all year.
“We’ve got a good football team and we’ve still got our goals intact and we’re still playing. We’re glad that we’re still playing this time of year, but we planned on it. We worked toward this opportunity.”
Vigor started the season with nine straight victories before losing to St. Paul’s in the Wolves’ final regular-season game. In the playoffs, Vigor has turned things up again, outscoring its three opponents 100-10 heading into Friday’s game at Blount against the Jackson Aggies. American Christian is the only team to score on the Wolves so far in the playoffs.
Against American Christian, quarterback Anthony Mix Jr. threw a pair of touchdown passes and Michael Towner returned a fumble 89 yards for another score as the No. 3-rankled Wolves rolled to victory. But as McKenzie noted, it was the defense that led the way for Vigor in the game. American Christian entered the game averaging 46 points an outing. The offense grabbed a lead and the defense made sure that lead was secure and protected the rest of the way, refusing to allow the American Christian offense to gain any footing or momentum.
“Every team that scores on us, we tend to come right back to score and kill that momentum right away,” McKenzie said after the win. “That [opening score] was no surprise to us and it was just like them receiving the kickoff, getting a good return and then score. So once we got the ball we just continued to do what we do.”
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