Vicksburg falls to 0-7 with loss to Greenville|Prep football

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009

GREENVILLE — Even in a swamp, the team from The Swamp couldn’t find a way to win.

Vicksburg High had its best rushing game of the season, getting 104 yards from Mark Chiles and two touchdowns from Kawayne Gaston, but it wasn’t enough to beat Greenville-Weston on a wet, muddy night in the Delta. Donald Jackson ran for 123 yards and three touchdowns as the Hornets beat Vicksburg, 28-14.

The loss kept Vicksburg (0-7, 0-3 Region 2-6A) winless on the season. Although there was reason for optimism after a half-dozen rushers combined for 158 yards — the Gators had 268 yards as a team for the season entering the game — the frustration of another loss overshadowed that.

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Vicksburg had a field goal blocked and three long drives resulted in no points. It was also unable to stop Greenville on the clinching drive late in the fourth quarter. After Gaston scored on a 1-yard run to cut it to 22-14 with 7:29 left, Greenville converted two third downs during a five-minute drive and put the game away on Jackson’s 7-yard TD run with 2:07 remaining.

“We’re just not playing on both sides of the ball at the same time. We found a little something in the running game. But you can’t drive seven or eight minutes and get nothing,” Vicksburg coach Alonzo Stevens said. “I’ve been coaching 35 years and I’ve never been where I’m at now. It’s frustrating. You see improvement and then you get things like personal fouls. You should never get a personal foul in a ballgame. That shows the mental preparation isn’t where it needs to be.”

Four inches of rain on Monday left standing water along both sidelines. Just to get on the field, both teams had to ford a six-inch deep puddle stretching nearly 40 yards from end to end. On VHS’ first play from scrimmage, quarterback Cameron Cooksey was hit near the Greenville sideline and splashed down in a huge puddle in front of the bench.

“It was tough, but everybody goes through it. If you’re a football player, you’ll play in anything,” said Gaston, who finished with 45 yards and a pair of

1-yard TD runs on nine carries. “It was kind of fun. It’s not fun to lose, though.”

A 7-yard TD run by Jackson in the first quarter and a 21-yard TD pass from Willie Mosby to Malcolm Edwards in the second staked Greenville (3-4, 2-1) to a 14-0 halftime lead. The Gators, though, found some traction on the sloppy field through their running game.

After early attempts to run a spread attack were unsuccessful, the Gators lined up in a series of power formations on their last possession of the first half. They reached the Greenville 9 before the drive stalled, and a 25-yard field goal attempt by Travis Haas was blocked with under a minute to play. Going back to the run to open the second half, Vicksburg reached the Greenville 32 before Cooksey fumbled a snap and the Hornets recovered.

The Gators stopped Greenville on its next possession and finally got their act together. Gaston capped a nine-play, 45-yard drive with a 1-yard run to cut it to 14-7 early in the fourth quarter.

“Vicksburg caught us off guard. We weren’t prepared for the power-I and wing-T. That hurt us. We prepared more for the pass,” Greenville coach Larry Dorsey said.

Jackson answered Gaston’s touchdown with a 37-yard TD run on the next play from scrimmage to push Greenville’s lead back to two scores. A two-point conversion run by Mosby made it 22-7. Vicksburg came back with an eight-play drive — all runs — capped by Gaston’s second touchdown to get back within a single score, but couldn’t get a stop when it mattered most.

Mosby completed a short pass to Edwards on third down to keep the drive alive, then scrambled for a 16-yard gain on third-and-10 with about four minutes left. Jackson scored four plays later to ice it.


Contact Ernest Bowker at