Gators swamp Callaway

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 20, 2008

JACKSON — The Vicksburg Gators started with a frenzy Friday night, then took a methodical, level-headed approach to victory.

Vicksburg scored two touchdowns in the first four minutes, then turned to a plodding running game to grind out a 31-6 win over Callaway in the Region 3-4A opener for both teams. The Gators (3-1, 1-0 region) had 220 rushing yards as a team — 96 of them by Jeremy Hamlin, who also scored two touchdowns — and threw just four passes.

“They wanted us to pass. We felt we could play physical, and we ran the ball and ate the clock,” VHS coach Alonzo Stevens said. “We felt we could pass. When the game changed in our favor like it did, we didn’t have to.”

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Vicksburg’s fast start was set up by its defense and, ironically, a long pass.

On the opening series of the game, Callaway quarterback Mark Thigpen dropped back to pass inside his own 20 and was blasted by VHS linebacker Carlos Williams. The ball popped into the air, Morris Lias snagged it around the 12-yard line and waltzed into the end zone.

After Callaway went three-and-out, the Gators got another quick score. Les Lemons tossed a swing pass to Trey Prentiss, who weaved through the defense for a 53-yard gain to the Callaway 2. Hamlin scored on the next play to put Vicksburg ahead 14-0 with 8:23 left in the first quarter.

Vicksburg blocked a punt on Callaway’s next possession, but couldn’t capitalize. Lemons threw an interception in the end zone, and Callaway (2-2, 0-1) took the ball and drove 80 yards in 10 plays for its only score. The march was capped by a 3-yard run by Thigpen, who finished with 111 rushing yards on 15 carries. He was also 11-of-26 passing for 92 yards and two interceptions.

Vicksburg turned to the running game again, though, and went on a 4 1/2-minute drive before halftime that ended in Patrick Parker’s 33-yard field goal as time expired. VHS then took the second half kickoff and went on a seven-minute drive that resulted in a 1-yard TD run by Hamlin. The back-to-back marches kept the ball in the Gators’ hands for the equivalent of an entire quarter, and stretched their lead to 24-6.

The Gators added a 10-yard TD pass from Lemons to Rodney Beacham with 1:34 left in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring.

Briarfield 39, G’ville Christian 16

Jeffrey Graham ran for 133 yards and a touchdown as Briarfield bounced back in District 2-A play in Lake Providence Friday night.

The Rebels (4-1, 3-1) got two touchdowns from Nathan Brown, 4 and 9 yards, along with a 4-yard TD run by Brown, an 11-yarder from Blake Lovell and 7 yards from Jacob Hopkins to give Briarfield a 32-0 lead after three quarters.

Hinds AHS 35, Madison-St. Joe 21

The WarDawgs scored 14 points in the third quarter to break loose from a tight 14-13 halftime score to move to 3-1 on the season. Hinds had more than 400 yards in total offense led by Jeremy Lee with 115 yards.

Riverdale 31, Tallulah 27

Justin Horath ran for 190 yards and three touchdowns, but the Trojans lost for just the second time this season after Riverdale scored 12 fourth-quarter points.