HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Smallwood, Vandegrift run over Vista Ridge

The Vipers shut out the Rangers for the first time in the history of the rivalry

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When Vandegrift and Vista Ridge get together, there has never been a shortage of points. Friday night was no different, but it saw a new record in the LISD rivalry. 

The Vipers shut out the Rangers for the first time in series history, winning 42-0 at home to vault into second place in the district and put them in a great place to make the postseason. The Rangers, meanwhile, are tied with Lake Travis for third place.

"I'm really surprised that it was by that much because Vista is such a good team," Vandegrift head coach Drew Sanders said. "I'm really proud of our defense. We're starting to play better and better going into the bye with everybody healthy."

Vandegrift quarterback Justin Moore finished 16-of-21 for 219 yards, one touchdown, and one interception and ran for 15 yards and a touchdown. Peyton Ausley caught nine passes for 62 yards and a score.

Running back Mack Parker carried the ball 17 times for 133 yards and four touchdowns. 

"As a group we came together," senior offensive lineman Lucas Webb said. "We were making blocks and cuts and the entire line was doing great. I take some pride, but (Mack) is a great running back. It's insane watching him run and we love to make the hole for him." 

Jacob Taute was the biggest piece of the Vista Ridge offense, throwing for 131 yards with one interception and running for 53 yards. Joe Goodwin added 25 yards on the ground. 

"In a big game, it comes down to fundamentals," Vista Ridge head coach Rodney Vincent said. "Just the simple things that in a big game you have to lean on after our preparation. We just didn't execute."

Vandegrift scored on its first two drives of the game. The Vipers moved down the field in three plays and Parker scored on a three-yard run in the first before capping off a 12-play drive with a one-yard burst on the next possession. 

Moore scored from eight yards out on a keeper up the middle and Smallwood scored his third of the game just before the half. 

Vista Ridge's Jamil Pittman had to be helped off the field late in the second quarter and didn't put any weight on his right leg. He did not return and was on the sideline with a wrap around his knee after the game. 

Vandegrift went 84 yards in seven plays on the first drive of the second half and Smallwood again ended up in the end zone. Vista Ridge had its longest drive oft eh game on the next possession, but stalled just outside of the red zone. 

Moore threw a seven-yard touchdown pass for Peyton Ausley with nine minutes left in the game finish off the rout. 

"Mack was running strong, but he'll be the first to tell you it's not possible without the offensive line," Sanders said. "I'm proud of our guys."

Vandegrift is on a bye next week before finishing the regular season with a road game at Hays and a home game against Lake Travis. Vista Ridge hosts the Rebels next week in a game that will have a major impact on the District 25-6A playoff order. 

"The thing is I think if we score in the red zone and don't give the football away, it's a closer game," Vincent said. "We were knocking on the door a couple times and didn't finish the drive and that hurt us."

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