Vicksburg rolls over Yazoo County

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 11, 2008

One of Vicksburg High’s all-time greats, 10-year NFL defensive lineman Michael Myers, was in town Friday night and his pregame pep talk inspired the Gators to an easy 36-6 win over Yazoo County at Memorial Stadium.

Myers, who is still waiting to hear from another NFL club after being one of the last cuts by the Cincinnati Bengals following the preseason, said he was glad to see the Gators play.

“I haven’t been to a high school game, since I last played in one in 1994,” Myers said.

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As an old defensive lineman, Myers was certainly impressed by the Gators’ defense, which, for the fifth time this season, held an opponent to a touchdown or less. Yazoo County’s offense had just 33 net yards and the lone touchdown came on a defensive fumble return in the final 54 seconds.

Vicksburg senior linebacker William Henderson led the effort with four quarterback sacks.

“We were in our 34 defense and William is one of our first-level linebackers. After we got the lead, we pretty much knew they would have to throw and he got to the quarterback,” VHS defensive coordinator Tim Hughes said. “We’ve got a talented group of seniors on our defense but being unselfish has been our mantra this season. It doesn’t matter if a guy is getting 20 tackles a game or another getting four sacks like Henderson did tonight.”

The Gators (5-2, 3-1 Region 3-4A) remain in second place in the region with the win. The defensive effort helped overcome a sluggish offense which had two touchdowns called back on holding penalties. The Gators were called five times for holding in the contest.

“I’m telling you, I question some of those calls,” VHS coach Alonzo Stevens said. “I liked how we stayed aggressive and kept the pressure on them. I think the guys got a lift by having Michael Myers here to talk to them and see them play.”

The Gators got on the board on their third play from scrimmage when Karlton Winters took a sweep and raced 74 yards for the touchdown. The PAT kick was wide, leaving the score at 6-0 with 9:12 left in the first quarter.

An 18-yard punt by Yazoo County (1-6, 0-4) set up a 31-yard field goal by Patrick Parker to make it 9-0 with 7:11 left in the second quarter. Les Lemons had two pass completions good for 15 yards and added a 16-yard scramble to set up the kick. Lemons finished with 88 yards and one TD, and was 4-of-8 passing for 30 yards with one score. He had one rushing score and one passing TD called back because of the holding calls.

Winters made his second big play of the game when he recovered a Yazoo County fumble at the Panthers’ 40. The recovery set up a 1-yard TD run by Jeremy Hamlin with 2:34 before halftime.

The Gators’ special teams got in the act by blocking a punt to set up Lemons’ 2-yard TD pass to Kurt Cooksey. Parker had the second of his three PAT kicks for a 23-0 lead with 39 seconds left in the half.

Vicksburg added two third quarter scores to ice the game. Lemons scored on a 7-yard run while Antonio Norfort scored from 24 yards out. The Gators finished with 326 yards in total offense with 282 rushing.