Vicksburg keeps pace in region playoff race|[10/13/07]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 13, 2007

YAZOO CITY — Vicksburg made enough plays to win its third straight road game of the season and keep its second place spot in the Region 3-4A standings with a 35-13 win over Yazoo County Friday night.

The Gators (5-2, 3-1) also did enough questionable things to keep the winless Panthers in the game until the final three minutes when a stoppage on downs and a late score by Les Lemons finally settled things. Vicksburg had three turnovers, including two second half fumbles that nearly allowed Yazoo County (0-7, 0-3) to pull within a touchdown.

Nevertheless, Vicksburg coach Alonzo Stevens was glad to get the win.

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“We got up early, made some good plays on special teams, and got a win. We continue to make mental mistakes. We had a block from behind that cost us a touchdown. Teams may get a big play here and there, but they have trouble driving the ball against us. The problems that we’ve had have been with us.”

Vicksburg built a 27-7 lead midway through the second quarter on the strength of two Stanton Price touchdown passes to John Qualls of 20 and 15 yards. Delmon Robinson had a 45-yard touchdown run and Robert Prentiss had a 15-yard interception return for a score to key the Gators in the first half.

Prentiss’ return answered an interception return for a score by the Panthers’ Avery Jones that had cut a 13-0 lead to 13-7.

Jones’ pick was the only bad throw of the night for Price, who went 10-of-14 for 143 yards. He came back after the interception to lead a quick 57-yard drive that put the Gators back up by two touchdowns at 20-7 following the 15-yard TD pass to Qualls

“We got the win. We just need to focus on one game at a time and get ready for the next game,” Price said.

The Gators recovered an onside kick but got only one first down before turning the ball over on downs. Three plays later, Prentiss stepped in front of a Rollie Cirton pass and returned it for the score.

“I was tracking (Kaleb Eulus) because that’s the guy (Cirton) likes to throw to and I was able to stay on him and then made a good break on the ball,” Prentiss said. Prentiss’ score made it 27-7 after Patrick Parker’s kick with 5:15 left before halftime.

Yazoo County bounced back getting a 37-yard TD run by Cirton to make it 27-13 with 3:42 left in the half.

The Panthers had a golden chance to pull closer when Jeremy Hamlin fumbled with Yazoo recovering on the Gator 12. On a fourth-and-one from the three, Cirton waited too late to pull out a handoff to Jamal Woolfolk, who had already broken the line, but Cirton pulled the ball back and underhanded a pass to Rashad Carter for an apparent touchdown. The officials, though, called Cirton for an illegal forward pass and the loss of down gave the Gators the ball at the seven.

The Gators had a chance to put the game away after a 31-yard punt return by Robinson gave them possession on the Yazoo 24 with seven minutes left. But on a fourth-and-one from the 15, Price was sacked for an 11-yard loss.

Yazoo County then drove to the Gator 27 before a fourth down pass was broken up by Harold Pickett with 3:03 to play.