Gators shut down, shut out Lanier

Published 1:04 am Saturday, September 27, 2014

Vicksburg’s Marcus Rogers is an offensive-minded coach, but on Friday it was his team’s defense that shined the brightest in a 20-0 win over Lanier.

The Gators (3-2) pitched their first shutout of the season and held Lanier to minus-25 yards on the night to win their Region 2-5A opener.

“The defense looked real good. They swarmed to the ball all night,” Rogers said. “Roderick Williams led the charge. Him, Tyson Hardy and Antonio Brown got it done tonight.”

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While the defense flexed its muscle, cornerback Paul Wilson showcased his talent on offense with two touchdowns to give Vicksburg a lead it did not relinquish.

Wilson struck first in the third quarter with a six-yard run to put the Gators up 14-0. He found paydirt again as a wide receiver on a 36-yard pass from quarterback Marquez Pickett. Pickett turned in his best performance of the season, ending the night 11-of-22 for 205 yards and a touchdown.

“Everything he did tonight, everything we asked of him from the coaching staff and of him as a quarterback, he was able to step up to the plate and do,” Rogers said. “He was throwing post routes, hitches, flag routes. He was very accurate. His (completion percentage) is not indicative of his performance. We had a lot of dropped balls. We’re hoping it’s a sign of things to come.”

The Gators were able to climb over the .500 mark for the first time this year with a win in their region opener. They go back on the road for a showdown with undefeated Germantown (5-0, 1-0 Region 2-5A) next week.

“I told those guys a couple of weeks back that every team has to hang their hat on something,” Rogers said. “Me as an offensive coordinator and head coach, I’ll hang my hat on defense. I know it’s cliché, but defense wins championships. All we have to do is score one point more than the other team to win ball games.”

Vicksburg 20, Lanier 0

Records: VHS (3-2, 1-0 Region 2-5A); Lanier (2-3, 0-1)

Up next: Vicksburg at Germantown

Skinny: Gators hold Lanier to minus-25 yards of offense in Region 2-5A rout