Hazlehurst takes down Gators, 30-14|[9/17/05]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 17, 2005

Hazlehurst came into Memorial Stadium Friday night in search of respect.

They left with much more than that.

The Class 3A Indians outgained Vicksburg (2-1) by nearly 200 yards in a 30-14 mauling that was not as close as the score indicated.

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“They wanted it,” Vicksburg coach Alonzo Stevens. “I was very disappointed in the way we played, but take nothing away from Hazlehurst because they played a great game. We have to regroup.”

Vicksburg is scheduled to travel to Southaven on Friday night to start a stretch of seven games against Class 5A opponents.

Hazlehurst quarterback Damien Anderson, who ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third, said the Indians play up to whomever is on the schedule.

“Class size only means how many students we have in our school,” Anderson said. “It’s all about the size of the heart in the players that counts.”

Hazlehurst forced scored two first-half touchdowns – one on a 9-yard Courtney Hall run and one on an Anderson keeper from 1-yard out – to take a 14-0 halftime lead.

The Indians, who used an aggressive, blitzing defense held Vicksburg to 59 first-half yards. The Indians also forced VHS to punt four times and the Gators missed a long field goal in the first half.

Twice in the opening half, the Gators started from the Hazlehurst 30-yard line and scored zero points. Hazlehurst controlled the line of scrimmage and held the Gators to a less than four yards per play.

“I was very disappointed in the offensive line tonight,” Stevens said. “They had been doing a good job for us all year, but tonight we didn’t get it done.”

Hazlehurst tallied another touchdown less than a minute into the second half when Anderson found Johnny Sanders down the sideline for a 77-yard touchdown pass and a 22-0 lead. Anderson threw only three passes all night, completing two for 82 yards.

Vicksburg gained a little momentum midway through the third quarter when Gerald Mims intercepted Anderson’s pass at the 19-yard line and sprinted into the end zone to end the Gators’ scoring drought.

Hazlehurst, as it had done all night, bounced right back, stealing the momentum again by scoring on a 44-yard touchdown run by Anderson for a 30-7 lead.

“They answered the bell,” Stevens said. “Everything we did, they answered. We didn’t do a good job answering the bell.”

Vicksburg made one last charge seconds into the fourth quarter when Stanton Price connected with Vernon Wolfe on a 36-yard touchdown pass to get the Gators to within 16 points. Price completed 8 of 19 passes for 97 yards and was intercepted once.

“Whenever we play a big school, we play big,” Hall said.