Gaston powers Gators to fourth consecutive victory in series

Published 12:05 am Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dracula has garlic. Superman has kryptonite. Warren Central’s biggest weakness, when it comes to facing Vicksburg High, is Kawayne Gaston.

The junior tailback rushed for 129 yards — 101 of them in the second half — caught three passes for 92 yards, and scored two touchdowns for Vicksburg in Friday’s 22-12 win over WC.

Gaston scored the go-ahead touchdown for the second consecutive year against the Vikings, helping the Gators to their fourth straight win in a series that was once dominated by their crosstown rivals.

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Last season, Gaston scored the game-winner in a 13-7 double-overtime victory.

“I feel great. They told me to do like last year. They told me to take over and lead us to a win,” Gaston said. “Last year’s senior class told me the same thing, and then this year’s senior class told me, too.”

Gaston was bottled up for most of the first half. Although he scored the first touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run in the first quarter, he was held to just 28 yards on 10 carries in the first half. That started to change early in the third quarter.

On Vicksburg’s second possession, he broke off runs of 5 and 12 yards to move the Gators past their own 30-yard line. Then, on third-and-5 from the VHS 33, he came up with the biggest play of the game.

Gaston took a short screen pass from Cameron Cooksey, broke several tackles to get into the clear, and sprinted all the way to the WC 3. He scored on the next play to give the Gators a 15-12 lead.

“I saw that they always blitzed from the outside. I told Cameron that if they blitz the outside linebacker, hit me on the swing,” Gaston said.

WC coach Josh Morgan said the play sucked the life out of his team. Moments before they had marched down the field and taken the lead on Beau Wallace’s 6-yard TD run. After Gaston’s catch, the Vikings were playing catch-up the rest of the way.

“That long screen pass on third-and-long was the biggest play of the game,” Morgan said. “We talked about momentum in this game. We had it, and the screen pass gave them the momentum. We couldn’t get it back.”

Cooksey threw a 42-yard TD pass to Lamar Anthony on Vicksburg’s next possession to make it 22-12, and Gaston carried the offensive load to salt the game away. He carried the ball on eight of the Gators’ last nine snaps before Cooksey kneeled twice to run out the clock in the final minute.

In all, Gaston carried the ball 26 times and finished with 221 all-purpose yards.

“We talked about it at halftime. I told the offensive line that all they had to do was get me to the second level and I’ll do the rest,” Gaston said.