Vicksburg gears up to derail Cougars|[10/14/05]

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 14, 2005

Vicksburg High can take a major step toward securing a Class 5A state playoff berth tonight when the Gators battle undefeated Northwest Rankin in Brandon.

The Gators (3-3, 1-1 Region 2-5A) are coming off their biggest win of the year, a hard-fought 14-3 decision over Clinton. The Cougars (6-0, 2-0) decimated a Provine team that earlier in the year defeated Vicksburg. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30.

&#8221Beating Clinton was one of our preseason goals,“ Vicksburg coach Alonzo Stevens said.

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Northwest defeated Provine in Jackson 35-13 and held a 21-7 halftime lead. In that game, Stephen Wright ran for three touchdowns and Mike McCoy, one of the most sought-after receivers in the state, hauled in a 45-yard touchdown pass.

The Cougars bring a balanced offense that can sting a team on the ground and through the air. Wright leads the team with 556 yards on 79 carries and 10 touchdowns, while quarterback Jordan King has passed for six touchdowns.

The Cougars are averaging a gaudy 29 points per game, but that average was brought down after the Cougars’ 11-6 win over Warren Central.

&#8221Right now, (Northwest Rankin) is playing really good football,“ Stevens said. &#8221We will have to execute in all three phases of the game. If we stay focused and play, I hope it will be a good game.

&#8221They are a well-rounded club and made a run last year. It will be a challenge.“

The Gators, however, could pose a challenge with a defense beginning to jell.

Vicksburg has allowed 17 points over the last two games and had a pair of key interceptions in last week’s win over Clinton. The last pick was returned for a touchdown.

&#8221This is a mental test for us, a character test,“ Stevens said. &#8221After Friday, we’ll see where our program is at.“