Jaguars, Brown wear down VHS

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 2, 2000

Behind the running of Bobo Brown, No. 5 Madison Central kept rolling through Region 2-5A with a 40-14 win over Vicksburg (4-2, 0-2 Region) Friday night at Memorial Stadium.

But it wasn’t as easy as it might appear.

Vicksburg, which never led, had a third-quarter touchdown to pull the Gators to within 26-14 in front of an estimated 3,000 at Memorial Stadium. On the ensuing kickoff, Michael Brown recovered a Madison (5-1, 2-0) fumble at the Jaguars’ 17-yard line.

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On the next play, however, Antonio Rainey was intercepted by Tony Tyler in the end zone.

“It was a big play on that kickoff and we wanted to go for the jugular and get back into the ballgame,” Vicksburg assistant coach Jackie Williamson said. “We thought if we could score on that play, we would put a lot of pressure on them.”

It didn’t happen.

The Jaguars, behind Brown, who had 194 yards on 28 carries and three first-half scores, MC marched down the field on a 10-play, 78-yard drive capped by a Jerrell Sumler 8-yard touchdown for a 14-point turnaround. Sumler finished the game with 95 yards and a pair of scores.

“That play was the difference in the ballgame,” said MC coach Mike Justice, who led the Jags to a 15-0 record and the state title a season ago. “Us intercepting that ball hurt their confidence a little because they knew we would take it and keep it a while.

“They are such an explosive offense, we knew we had to keep them off the field, and we were able to do that.”

Vicksburg got two first downs on the next possession and on fourth-and-12, tried a fake punt from their own 42-yard line that was stopped cold.

Seven running plays later, Madison tacked on its final score, a 1-yard quarterback keeper by Bo Bradberry, who completed 3 of 4 passes for 56 yards.

“The offensive line really opened holes for us on those last two drives,” said Brown, who had more than 2,600 yards and 31 touchdowns as a junior. “Jerell ran hard and we were able to wear them down.”

J.J. Brown paced Vicksburg’s offense with 73 yards on two carries. His 73-yard run in the third quarter in which he weaved all over the field and covered about 150 yards gave the Gators the ball on the 5-yard line. Three plays later, Reginald Wheatley scored to pull the Gators to within 26-14.

“We showed we could pass and move the ball,” said Terry Cooper, who scored Vicksburg’s first TD on a 29-yard pass from Rainey to make it 14-7. “We’ll do it against other teams this year too.”

The Gators passed virtually every down in the first half after starting tailback Phelon Gray left the game on the fourth play. He was taken to the hospital with a possible knee injury.

Rainey completed 9 of 18 passes for 161 yards in the first half, but the running of Madison’s Brown TDs of 4,5 and 18 yards in the first half gave the Jags a 26-7 lead at halftime.

Vicksburg attempted just two passes in the second half for minus-2 yards.

“They shut down our running game early so we knew we were going to have to pass,” Williamson said.

“We feel like we are a better team if we come out and pass.”

The Gators will play at Callaway on Friday night.