Gators smash Yazoo City in home opener

Published 1:37 am Saturday, September 12, 2015

Vicksburg coach Marcus Rogers challenged his team to shut out its opponent Friday, and it was met as the Gators beat Yazoo City 30-0.

It was their first shutout since beating Lanier 20-0 last September.

Rogers felt like the Indians could have an electric offense, but knew what his defense was capable of.

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“It feels real good,” Rogers said. “That’s what we’ve been trying to do all year is hang our hat on the defense and score enough points to win.”

Domination is an understatement to describe the game the Gators played. They held the ball the majority of the game, extended drives with fourth down conversions, didn’t give up too many first downs and only allowed one screen pass to be completed against the defense.

After lightning delayed the start of the game by about an hour, the defense chomped on the Indians and didn’t let go. Michael Sullivan ripped the ball and forced a fumble on the Indians’ opening drive. It was recovered by Tyler McDowell.

The defense also recorded two safeties in the first quarter, both by tackling runners in the end zone.

“Sometimes you got to put a lot of pressure on their center and we’re going to continue to put pressure on folks,” Rogers said.

Yazoo City quarterback Kory Price was 1-for-7 for only 5 yards.

“That’s a tribute to our back four, our corners and safeties can play with anybody in the state,” Rogers said.

VHS’ sophomore quarterback Joe Johnson completed 9 of 18 passes for 84 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown to Raheam Moore. Johnson also targeted James Allen, Antonio and Tedarius Brown, Jeff Scott and Brandon King.

Rogers talked about splitting carries in the running game this week and did so between Tim Jackson, Marlon Hodge and Antonio Brown. The three backs combined for 112 yards.

Rogers said each back complemented the others well and each has different running types.

“It’s good to have three guys that can run the ball. Antonio is more explosive, more power and he combines speed with it. Marlon is tall and physical. Them running so hard pushed Tim, he looked a lot better tonight,” Rogers said.

Antonio Brown rushed for a 1- and 5-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He finished with seven carries for 45 yards and Hodge had six carries for 22 yards. Jackson totaled 45 yards.

“I saw glimpses out of Marlon Hodge. I knew what I had out of Antonio, I just didn’t want to spend him much on offense because on defense we really need him. I think (Hodge) played a good game and ran the ball hard,” Rogers said.

The Gators ran some untraditional offensive schemes, which Rogers said also helped the running game.

“We went tackle over, went pro-set I went under center, that type of deal,” Rogers said. “It’s traditional for back in the day but nobody runs that anymore so we wanted to do different things and give them different looks.”