Lee County 18, Vestavia Hills 15
AUBURN – Lee County Unified Team wide receiver Porter Caldwell was a jack-of-all-trades Wednesday afternoon scoring two touchdowns to lead his team to an 18-15 win over Vestavia Hills in the AHSAA/Alabama Special Olympics Unified football game which opened the 2016 Super 7 Championship week at Auburn.
The Unified game, set to be played at Jordan-Hare Stadium, was moved to the Auburn University Indoor Football Practice Facility due to weather conditions. The two teams adjusted admirably, both showing strong passing games from the get-go.
Vestavia Hills, coached by Terry Tingle, scored first when Andrew Knight caught a perfect pass from quarterback Thad Smith for a 38-yard score on the opening series of the game. Harris Baker then caught a pass on the one-point try to give the Rebels a 7-0 lead.
Lee County, which won the game for the second year in a row, clawed back to score when Steven Clark caught a 1-yard pass from Drew Williams. Caldwell put Coach Dana Stewart’s Tigers ahead with an 8-yard touchdown reception thrown by Williams.
Vestavia Hills took a 13-12 lead into the half scoring on a 1-yard pass from Smith to Knight on the last play of the first half.
Caldwell’s 12-yard run at 17:32 of the second half put Lee County on top 18-13. The TD was set up by a 25-yard pass from Caldwell to Williams.
Vestavia Hills closed the margin to three with a safety later in the half, and had a chance to take the lead with first and goal from the 1 after Smith tossed a 31-yard pass to Parker Turner with just over six minutes to play.
The Lee County defense forced four straight incomplete passes to hold on for the win.
Smith finished with an outstanding 8-of-28 passing performance for 175 yards and two scores. Knight caught six passes for 115 yards.
For Lee County, Williams was 9-of-15 passing for 68 yards. Caldwell was 2-of-3 for 28 yards. Matt Baker had one big 5-yard catch and played well as the Lee County center.
The Unified Game began in 2014 at Auburn and was in 2015 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.
Wednesday’s game was live-streamed by the Opelika High School NFHS Network School Broadcast Program.
2016 SUPER 7 UNIFIED GAME BOXSCORE
Vestavia Hills 13 2 -- 15
Lee County 12 6 – 18
VH – Andrew Knight 38 pass from Thad Smith (Harris Baker pass from Smith)
LC – Steven Clark 1 pass from Drew Williams (Pass failed)
LC – Porter Caldwell 8 pass from Williams (Pass failed)
VH – Knight 1 pass from Smith (Pass failed)
LC – Caldwell 12 run (Pass failed)
VH – Safety, ball touched ground in end zone
Vestavia Hills Lee County
6 First Downs 4
6-25 Rush Att/Yds 4-10
27/8/2 Pass Att/Com/Int 19/11/3
150 Pass Yards 107
175 Total Yards 117
3-18 Penalties 5-18