Vandegrift Remains 13-6A Favorite After Forcing Vista Ridge's 1st Loss
Austin Vandegrift (5-0, 3-0) proved on Friday that it's still one of the Austin area's top football teams and remains the frontrunner for the season's UIL 13-6A title. The Vipers rode a fast start to a 31-12 road win against Leander ISD rival Cedar Park Vista Ridge (4-1, 2-1) at John Gupton Stadium.
"It was huge," said VYPE Player of the Game Trey Mongauzy. "They improved a lot there [and are] a super motivated team. They have high goals and we knew they were going to compete, so it's just a big win for the team. We're really excited."
The Vipers took the first lead with 8:16 left in the opening quarter after storming down the field and knocking in a 24-yard field goal on the game's opening drive. That was extended to a 10-point advantage when Bowen Lewis recorded a 49-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds left in the period.
Vandegrift's success can also be credited to its defensive unit. It started with a goal line stand, which saw Vista Ridge go scoreless on four consecutive plays at the Vipers' one-yard line. The trend continued when the Rangers' punter was tackled for a 34-yard loss, which set up Ryan Sheppard's five-yard touchdown run and a Vandy 17-0 lead with 10:17 left in the second quarter. A forced fumble also set up a Mongauzy 14-yard touchdown catch and a Vipers' 24-0 advantage at halftime.
"We knew we'd be depending on our defense tonight," said Vandegrift coach Drew Sanders. "For us to do what we did tonight [and] shut 'em out in the first half, really I thought set a tone."
The second half had a similar start, with a nine-yard loss on Vista Ridge's punt attempt that set up Mongauzy's second score, but the Rangers responded with touchdown passes to Ethan Effelfinger and Maximus Clark that made it a 31-12 game with 6:28 left in the game.
But, like other key moments in the outing, Vandegrift used another defensive play to seal its latest win. This time, it was a fumble recovery at the 2:37 mark of the fourth.
Now, the Vipers turn their attention to their Week 6 opponent, which is a 4-0 Round Rock Dragons squad.
"They're going to bring it and I'm excited," said Mongauzy. "I'm really confident with our guys, but it's going to be a good one."
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