Gators’ playoff hopes take hit

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 17, 2000

Terry Cooper of Vicksburg gets wrapped up by Clinton’s William Gavin, left, and Waycus Luckett in the second quarter. (The Vicksburg Post/MARK THORNTON)

CLINTON Mario King rushed for three touchdowns and Desean Dyson ran for 129 yards as Clinton rebounded from losing its top running back and drubbed Vicksburg 41-6.

“They just beat us up front,” VHS assistant Jackie Williamson said. “We didn’t battle.”

For the Gators (5-3, 1-3), the loss means they will have to win the rest of their Region 2-5A games or hope for some upsets around the region to make the playoffs.

“Our backs are definitely against the wall,” Williamson said.

Some thought the No. 2 Arrows (8-0, 4-0) would be down after losing Mississippi State signee Coco Hodge to a broken leg last week.

But King, Dyson and Clarence McDougal took up the slack, helping the Arrows to a 28-0 halftime lead. King had scoring runs of 12 and 4 yards in the first half, then broke a long one on the first play of the fourth. Dyson opened the scoring with a 38-yarder and McDougal broke one for 53 yards late in the first half.

The Clinton defense kept VHS’ running game in check, holding leading rusher J.J. Brown to minus-3 yards on five carries.

One bright spot for the Gators was the passing game.

Sophomore Justin Henry completed 10 of 16 passes for 78 yards while playing in the second and fourth quarters. Starter Antonio Rainey was 7-of-9 for 87 yards and he scrambled in on a 2-yard bootleg for the Gators’ only score, which came with 48 seconds left in the third quarter.

That was set up when Brown came up with a tipped ball at the 4 for a 23-yard pickup. He had five catches for 63 yards and Von Mixon had four receptions for 57 yards.