Anthony, Gators sting Hornets in thriller

Published 12:42 am Saturday, October 8, 2011

GREENVILLE — The Vicksburg Gators had the right play called for the right time.

Lamar Anthony beat man coverage on a fourth-and-20 play to score with 1:05 left to lift Vicksburg past Greenville-Weston 35-31 Friday night at Kerg Field.

The touchdown pass was the third of the night for Anthony and quarterback Cameron Cooksey. The pair had earlier connected on a 9-yard TD pass in the third quarter and a 25-yarder early in the fourth quarter to rally the Gators to a key Region 2-6A win.

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Vicksburg improved to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in region play to keep its playoff hopes alive. Greenville-Weston slipped to 1-6 overall and 0-3 in region play.

Anthony, who had six catches for 119 yards and three scores, said the game’s fateful play was well set up.

“We had A.J. run a middle post and that took away the safety,” Anthony said. “I ran a wheel route and I beat my man.”

Cooksey hit Anthony in stride in the end zone for the go-ahead score. Garrett Watson’s kick made it 35-31.

Watson pinned the Hornets deep when his kickoff was fielded and run out of bounds on the Hornets 2. Greenville-Weston picked up a first down to the 18, but only 20 seconds remained. Hornet quarterback Leonard Stevenson had to go deep and was picked off by Jonathan Tenner at midfield to seal the victory.

Cooksey brought the Gators back after suffering through a tough first half as the Hornets dropped seven to eight defenders back in coverage. He was just 11 of 26 for 87 yards in the first half, but came back to hit Anthony three times for TDs in the second half. He finished 16 of 39 for 231 yards.

Vicksburg adjusted its plan to run Darius Youngblood in the second half. He responded with a career night of 140 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown, a 2-yard TD run in the second quarter that briefly put VHS ahead 7-6.

“Our goal was to run the ball in the second half and that seemed to open things more up for Lamar and A.J,” Cooksey said.

Vicksburg trailed 21-13 late in the third quarter when Cooksey hit Stamps for a 45-yard gain to the 1.

Cooksey ran in the score and his two-point pass to Stamps tied the game at 21 with 54 seconds left in the quarter.

A fumble recovery by Markeith Burks gave VHS the ball back and Cooksey capitalized with his 25-yard TD toss to Anthony for a 28-21 lead.

Greenville roared back with a safety after the Gators had made a goal-line stand. After the free kick, the Hornets’ Greg Foster scored on a 15-yard run, his third score of the night, to put Greenville up 31-28 after a two-point conversion pass with 3:10 left.