Gators aim for first win|Prep football

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vicksburg coach Alonzo Stevens feels his fledgling team may have turned a corner in the second half against Northwest Rankin.

The Gators (0-6, 0-2 Region 2-6A) came back to score three second-half touchdowns to make their region game against the Cougars a competitive affair before falling, 36-21.

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Friday night, the Gators head to the Delta to battle the Greenville-Weston Hornets (2-4, 1-1) at Charles Kerg Field.

For Stevens, the second-half showing of sophomore quarterback Cameron Cooksey was the first real positive sign the Gators have seen in what has been a tough year.

“I really think Cooksey hit his stride last week. He just had a better feel of what we wanted to do. We dropped some more balls on him in the first half, but they started catching them in the second half. Now, we just have to put two halves together,” Stevens said.

Cooksey completed 21-of-42 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns in the Northwest Rankin game. This season, he has completed 41-of-84 for 477 yards and four TDs.

Alventray Tarleton has emerged as a threat and now has 12 catches for 196 yards and two scores. But Stevens likes what backup quarterback Millan Nasif has done to aid Cooksey and the Gators’ passing game.

“We put Nasif in at wide receiver and immediately he and Cam have a connection. He knows the routes and with both of them in there, we have that double threat. We can flair the ball out and have Nasif throw it,” Stevens said.

Stevens said the Gators need to also get the ball more to tight end Namonta Gaines, who has nine receptions for 98 yards.

“Gaines can do a lot of damage because he’s a great athlete,” Stevens said.

The Gators’ youth movement continued against Northwest Rankin. Four sophomores saw extensive action on the offensive and defensive lines.

“(Jonathan) Elmore and (Norman) Price made some progress. We still may be 0-6, but I feel like we can win a couple of games this year,” Stevens said.

In facing the Hornets, the Gators will battle a team that has been molded into the image of its coach Larry Dorsey. Called “Hard Hat” during his time as the Mississippi Valley State head coach, Dorsey has the Hornets playing conservative, hard-nosed football.


Contact Jeff Byrd at