Vance scored the final 21 points in each half and held off a spirited effort by host South Meck to win its third straight game, 49-22, at Fred Boger Stadium Friday.
South Meck scored first, forcing a fumble near its own goal line and returning the ball into Vance territory. DeAngelo Blair-Young scored on a 10-yard run to give South Meck a 7-0 lead.
The lead lasted only 15 seconds as Ryan Richardson took the kickoff and sprinted 98 yards untouched for a Vance touchdown.
South Meck took the lead back with 2:12 left in the first as Austin Grier threw a 93-yard touchdown pass to Jordan McKinney. But Vance answered quickly. Nigel Summerville scored on a 2-yard run with 31 seconds left in the quarter. Then after forcing a fumble on the kickoff, Summerville found Gerald Nathan Jr. for a 3-yard touchdown with 8 seconds left in the quarter.
Vance led 28-15 at halftime but South Meck struck first in the second half when Jabari Dalton scored on a 6-yard run midway through the quarter to cut the Vance lead to six.
Vance answered by going 67 yards in seven plays (6 rushing), with Kalen Clark capping the drive on a 3-yard run to push the lead back to 35-22. Vance would pad the lead in the fourth on a Summerville touchdown pass to Jaylon Riley and a Clark run for the final margin.
Records: Vance is 3-1. South Meck is 0-5.
Three who Mattered
Nigel Summerville: Completed his first 10 passes, threw for 253 yards and accounted for three touchdowns (two passing and one rushing).
Ryan Richardson: Was a special-teams star, returning one kick for a touchdown, two more near midfield and nearly blocking a punt that turned into an 8-yard kick that led to a Vance touchdown.
Austin Grier: Freshman played his best game as a South Meck Sabre, throwing for 173 yards with a touchdown and no turnovers.
▪ South Meck played hard but Vance wore the defense down, running 70 plays for the game compared to 48 for South Meck.
▪ Vance has the athletes to play with the better teams but must cut down on mistakes. The Cougars turned the ball over three times, botched a fourth-down snap at the goal line and were penalized 13 times for 125 yards.
▪ Grier has improved a great deal in a short time and his numbers could have been even better. He had five passes dropped and a 60-yard completion was nullified by a holding penalty.
▪ Blair-Young’s touchdown in the first quarter scored South Meck’s first points since their week one 33-19 loss to Marvin Ridge.
▪ Vance’s offense was very balanced and the numbers prove it – the Cougars totaled 505 yards, 252 rushing and 253 passing.
▪ Vance also had 100-yard performances from two skill players – running back Stephon Thompson had 130 yards on the ground and Jaylon Riley had 137 yards receiving.
Vance opens I-Meck Conference play next week when it hosts Mallard Creek. South Meck opens So Meck 7 Conference play at Olympic Sept. 29.