Rebels Vestavia Hills Triumphs in 7A Playoff Clash: In a Class 7A playoff game, Vestavia Hills High School football faced a tough challenge against Austin but emerged victorious with a 38-17 win. Vestavia Hills head coach Robert Evans acknowledged the competitiveness of the match, giving credit to Austin for being the best team in north Alabama.
Despite a slow start, Vestavia Hills made good adjustments on both sides of the ball. William Tonsmeire’s 68-yard touchdown run set the tone early, but Austin responded with back-to-back drives to take a 14-7 lead. Vestavia Hills fought back with a 23-yard touchdown pass from John Paul Head to Keown Richardson and a 49-yard field goal by Owen Simpson, ending the first half with a 17-14 lead.
The rain persisted in the second half, but Vestavia Hills remained resilient. Austin opened the third quarter with a game-tying 41-yard field goal, but that was one of the last positive notes for the Black Bears. Vestavia Hills’ explosive plays, known as “explosives,” came into play in the final two quarters, with big gains leading to touchdowns.
The Rebels outgained Austin 380-337, with John Paul Head contributing 126 passing yards and 83 rushing yards with two ground touchdowns. William Tonsmeire led the team with 130 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, while Keown Richardson caught eight passes for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Vestavia Hills will face Thompson in the next round, looking to overcome the four-time defending state champions. Despite being the underdog, Coach Evans is optimistic and looks forward to the challenge. The Rebels aim to clean up some aspects and be a tough contender in the playoffs.