Viper’s McNeil home opener


By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News

Vandegrift is 2-1 overall and 1-0 in District 25-6A prior to the Oct. 23 home opener vs. McNeil.  

“McNeil is an interesting challenge as my former defensive coordinator, Scott Hermes, is the head coach there,” said Drew Sanders, head football coach. “He has the defensive side improving and they are struggling on offense at times as their starting QB is injured. But he may return our game, so that will present a challenge for sure.”

Even though overall McNeil is improving, Sanders said “you can expect a tough game this week as (Hermes) will have his team playing hard and disciplined as they come into Monroe for our first home game of the year.”

The Vandegrift Viper football team handily beat Vista Ridge last week, 40-14 at John Gupton Stadium 

“It was a great start to district to be able to beat previously undefeated Vista Ridge,” Sanders said. “They came into our game winning by the average score of 50-16, so it was very impressive to come out with a 40-14 victory.” 

VRHS came in averaging 350 yards passing a game and VHS held them to 88 yards passing and 16 yards rushing until the final drive in the 4th quarter.

“They didn’t cross the 50 yard line until the final drive in the 4th quarter,” Sanders said. He was impressed with the way the team practiced leading up to the game and felt like the Vipers would play good because of that.  

Viper quarterback Ryan Back was named the Austin American-Statesman player of the week. Back completed eight of 13 throws, passing for 288 yards. He connected with Taylor Dummar, Caleb Sanders, Ryan Sheppard and Bowen Lewis for touchdowns. 

The Vipers rushed for 143 yards — Sheppard 65, Lewis 43, Back 26 and Jackson Bogardus 9. Rickey Sweeney and Wesley Gentry each had sacks and Griffin Schaffer had an interception. 

Vista’s Kyle Brown passed for a total of 151 yards and rushed for 16 yards.

“We are always happy to start 1-0 in district,” Sanders said. Last week was the Viper’s 17th consecutive district win.