Cooksey closes in on history Vicksburg quarterback needs just 174 yards to take county passing record

Published 12:01 pm Monday, September 12, 2011

His place in history is obviously a touchy subject for Cameron Cooksey.

The Vicksburg High quarterback has had, statistically speaking, one of the most remarkable careers in Warren County history. He has more 300-yard passing games than any quarterback to ever play football here, and set single-game records for yards and touchdowns with his 438-yard, six-touchdown performance in a 63-42 loss to Tylertown last Friday.

This week, Cooksey is likely to become the county’s all-time passing leader. He’ll enter the game against Lawrence County just 174 yards short of Ernest Moore’s career record. Moore, who played at North Vicksburg and Vicksburg High from 1971-73, threw for 4,336 yards in his high school career. With 1,055 yards and 13 touchdown passes in only three games, Cooksey also has a shot at the single-season records in those categories.

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As a bonus, Cooksey is dragging receiver A.J. Stamps along for the ride. The most explosive of the Gators’ three wideouts — along with Clyde Kendrick and Lamar Anthony — Stamps needs just 165 more receiving yards to become the county record-holder. Porters Chapel Academy’s Cole Smith, who had 1,665 yards from 2004-06, is the current leader.

“It’s definitely something I’m real proud of,” Cooksey said. “I couldn’t have done it without my team. I have great teammates. My line has been working real hard, they’re giving me time. The coaching staff has been great. I’m enjoying everything.”

Before giving his answer, however, Cooksey tenses up slightly, seemingly aware that there’s a blemish on his gaudy stats.

In three years as a starter, the senior has more 300-yard games (five) than victories (four). Vicksburg has scored an average of 38.5 points in its last 10 games, going back to last season, but has won just three times in that span.

It’s a frustrating paradox for the Gators. A mix of a porous defense and ill-timed offensive mistakes have combined to keep them out of the win column, even as they light up the scoreboard.

“We’re still killing ourselves with small mistakes,” Cooksey said. “We’ve just got to get more disciplined. If we get more disciplined as a team, we cut down on the small mistakes and the wins will start coming.”

Those small mistakes reared their ugly head against Tylertown. Cooksey threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. In the last two seasons, the Gators have had nine turnovers returned for touchdowns by their opponents.

Vicksburg’s receivers also dropped six passes and fumbled twice after catching the ball. Tylertown scored 21 points in all off of five VHS turnovers, which turned out to be the difference in the score.

The good news for the Gators is there’s still plenty of time left to correct the mistakes. They’re only three games into an 11-game season. After this week’s game against Lawrence County, the Region 2-6A schedule begins and only that counts toward determining playoff berths.

With as unstoppable as the Gators have been at times, Cooksey said the Gators just have to quit stopping themselves.

“We’ve definitely got to put it behind us. We’ve got to look back and learn from our mistakes, but after that you’ve got to put it behind you,” Cooksey said. “We know what we’re capable of, but we’ve just got to execute.”