ABBEVILLE — The opening of the high school football season was not one to remember for the Abbeville Wildcats.
After showing vast improvements from last season in their scrimmage and jamboree, the Wildcats were dominated 35-0 by the Vinton Lions.
It was a struggle all night for the Wildcats offense, which only mustered 77 yards. The rushing attack of Abbeville was held to negative yardage.
Quarterback Bryce Melancon went 7 of 28 for 96 yards, and three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter. Aside from Melancon’s three interceptions, double-digit drops by Wildcats receivers also hurt the offense.
“We are not very tough,” said Abbeville coach Chris Towery. “We didn’t do what we’re coached to do.”
After the first quarter it was scoreless, with both teams jockeying for field position, alternating punts. The Lions had a big second quarter, breaking the game open with three scores.
James Planchard started things off with a 4-yard touchdown run. On the ensuing Abbeville drive, a Melancon pass was tipped and intercepted and returned for a touchdown.
The Wildcats next drive ended with a fumble on their 1-yard line. Planchard finished the drive off with his second touchdown of the game from a yard out.
Lions running back James McMillion capped the last two scoring drives with runs of 67 yards and 32 yards.
Vinton finished with 220 yards rushing. McMillion was the leading rusher with 132 yards and two scores.
Melancon did not get time in the pocket to throw the ball most of the night, being hounded by the Lions’ defensive front.
“We didn’t block anybody on offense,” Towery said. “When you have four guys that started the spring game, that are ineligible now, and you’re starting a freshman and a sophomore that has no business starting on the offense line, those things are going to happen. I guess that’s just where we are.”
Vinton hosts Elton next Friday, while Abbeville travels to Lake Charles to play St. Louis on Thursday.