Gators look for traction during slide

Published 9:38 am Monday, October 19, 2015

The Vicksburg Gators looked like they would run away with a playoff berth when, despite a few key injuries, they won three of their first four games.

But since the Region 2-5A schedule began, the Gators’ fortune has been reversed. Friday’s 31-21 loss to Ridgeland was their third in four games.

Their goal of hosting a playoff game for the first time in six seasons has faded away, however, there is still a chance to reach the postseason.

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“Not with three losses, it makes it a little difficult to win the last three to go 4-3,” said Vicksburg coach Marcus Rogers. “Next week, we’ve got to win, it’s as simple as that. We got to win out. We put ourselves in the situation. It’s no time to tuck our tails, it’s time to hold our head up and see how bad we want it.”

Vicksburg (4-4, 1-3 Region 2-5A) is tied with Neshoba Central and Canton for fifth place. Vicksburg will go on the road to play Canton on Friday night in what amounts to an elimination game.

Rogers said the Gators shot themselves in the foot against Ridgeland by having three costly turnovers, one of which was returned for a touchdown. The combination of turnovers and not having an answer for Ridgeland’s running game was what really hurt them in the end.

Offensively, Rogers alternated his quarterbacks every other drive, trying to ease Devontay Knight back in the swing of football. The backup to starter Joe Johnson was injured in the preseason and didn’t play until Oct. 9 against Lanier.

“Both quarterbacks made a couple of mistakes, but we’re going to continue to clean it up and get (Knight) moving,” Rogers said. “Joe (Johnson) played a pretty good game. Devontay just caught the hot hand. He got hot there at the end and completed some deep balls to Raheam Moore. We got some big play guys, we just have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot.

In his two games this season Knight has accounted for two touchdowns, on a 40-yard pass to Raheam Moore against Lanier, and a 3-yard run in the fourth quarter against Ridgeland.

Knight said he feels good and healthy after his second game of the season.

“I’m feeling confident. The offense is feeling good and I’m getting back in the rhythm of things,” Knight said.

He added he feels normal and isn’t hesitant out on the field.

His confidence also extends to the final games of their schedule, but they have to fix simple mistakes like getting the ball off.

“I feel we’re going to finish the last three with a bang,” Knight said.

Up next

Vicksburg (4-4, 1-3 Region 2-5A) at Canton (3-5, 1-3)

Friday, 7 p.m.

Radio: 1490 AM

Online: For live scoring updates on Friday night, visit and