Gators open region with unbeaten Rams|[9/22/06]

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 22, 2006

Vicksburg High football coach Alonzo Stevens contends that with the exception of Hazlehurst, his team is the overall fastest team in the state.

The Gators’ team speed will battle the fastest player in the state tonight when the Gators battle unbeaten Provine in the Region 2-5A opener for both teams. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Hughes Field in Jackson.

Provine running back Anton Taylor has blazed through the first four games – all blowout wins over Jackson Public School teams – for 829 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.

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He also is the defending Class 5A state track champion in both the 100-and 200-meter dashes.

&#8220He’s an outstanding back,” Stevens said of the 5-foot, 9-inch, 220-pound Taylor. &#8220He is a physical back and they have a good offensive line. We have our work cut out for us, but every week it seems we face fantastic runners.”

Against pass-happy Southaven last week, the Gators earned a 22-16 overtime victory to even the record at 2-2. Vicksburg has lost both of its game by a combined 12 points.

This will also mark the fifth straight week that the Gators will play a team without a defeat. The Rams enter the contest 4-0.

&#8220They are tough, but I am more concerned with the way the Gators play,” Stevens said. &#8220We have to play all 48 minutes, or it seems lately more than that.”

Vicksburg should get an offensive lift with the return of speedy wide receiver Delmon Robinson, who suffered an injury earlier in the year. This will be the first game since the Red Carpet Bowl win over Indianola-Gentry that the Gators have had a full boat. Starting running back Michael Dulaney has been hobbled with a nagging leg injury, but also is expected to play.

The Rams enter the game having beaten up on four of the weakest teams in the JPS. They average 38 points per game, but their four victories have come against schools with a combined 6-10 record.

The Gators counter with an explosive offense that has yet to show the firepower it is capable of. Quarterback Stanton Price has completed 37 of 65 passes for 433 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He has not been intercepted.

Vernon Wolfe leads a talented receiving corps with 13 catches for 164 yards, but he has yet to find the end zone on offense.

&#8220We’re just ready to put it all together,” Stevens said.