Vernon is a nice place to watch a game

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Turning off of I-10, I knew I was head into unknown territory.

Last Friday night, the Northview Chiefs visited Vernon for the FHSAA Class 1A regional semifinals.

NHS lost the game in a close defensive battle, 8-7.

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There’s something about going to new places for me.

Until Friday night, I had never been to Vernon. I was excited not only for the football game, but to be able to visit a new place and add it to my destilexionary. (Yes, I made up that word.)

Vernon is a small town in Washington County. By 2004, the population had risen from 743 to 757.

Most of the high school-aged students in the county go to VHS, one of the chain gang told me during the game.

Before kick off, I got a chance to see the Yellow Jackets’ school and it looks like a nice place to learn. I’ve noticed that with a bunch of Florida high schools.

When I finally arrived at Vernon’s football stadium, I felt right at home, not only because of its country feel, but because of the warm community that seemed to emanate from the stands.

Luckily, the fans and diehard football gurus had a great game to watch.

I was a couple of minutes behind when I arrived at the stadium and already the Chiefs had picked off VHS in the end zone.

Back and forth, and with the help of several Yellow Jackets turnovers, both teams traded possessions.

Finally, the Chiefs got ahead 7-0 in the second quarter on a reverse play and held the lead going into halftime.

NHS head football coach Sid Wheatley said after the game that they really wanted to get another score on the board to increase the lead to two touchdowns.

However, the Chiefs couldn’t find the end zone thanks to a big defensive effort by the Yellow Jackets.

VHS found a big hole in the line and made a significant 74-yard gain that turned into the eventual game-winning touchdown series.

When it was all said and done, the Chiefs had nothing to hang their heads about and I walked away with a smile on my face.

Not only did I witness a spectacular defensive performance, I got the chance to visit a new place.

Maybe I’ll find myself there again in the near future.