Gators tie Clinton in spring scrimmage

Published 8:58 am Friday, May 13, 2016

The only thing more entertaining than the action in Vicksburg’s spring game against Clinton was figuring out which team had the lead.

The Gators’ scoreboard was inoperable Thursday evening and the score was loosely kept. It ended in a 21-21 tie. The scrimmage was more focused on getting players reacquainted to the game.

“It’s just a situational, controlled scrimmage where we can do some coaching. That’s why you saw coaches on the field, where we can make corrections,” Vicksburg coach Marcus Rogers said.

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Thursday’s game was structured so that both teams started at their opponent’s 20-yard line and stayed on offense for 12 plays. After the first 12 plays from each team, they lined up on their own 20-yard line for 10 plays.

Next, teams lined up at the 40-yard line for 10 plays before switching to third-down situations both long and short for the last 10 plays of the game.

As Rogers stood on the field, he saw how much effort his team has put in this spring and said it’s headed in the right direction even if there are still things that need tweaking.

“Offensive line, we just got to get our calls. They’re blitzing off the slot a little bit. All we do is make our calls, slide the protection one way and send a back the other way. Sometimes a back would miss the call and just getting rid of the football,” Rogers said. “Cleaning up, up front and getting a running game going.”

Rogers is steadfast in running the ball come game time, but was impressed with how well his receivers go up and get the football.

“Raheam (Moore) got up and made some plays. Jeff Scott catching across the middle, high balls and just having the football IQ to not take a big hit. He’ll go up and catch it, he’ll know the hit is coming and get down. That’s big. I told him a regular receiver would’ve took a big hit, but you’re not a regular receiver,” Rogers said.

Cardell Spencer, DeAngelo Dixon, James Allen and Tyler Wilbert stood out to Rogers as well for their performances.

Quarterback Joe Johnson did everything Rogers expected him to while looking more comfortable in the position. Johnson is heading into his second season as the team’s starter after throwing for more than 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2015.

Coming into the game, Rogers wanted to see his defense swarm to the ball and stop Clinton quarterback Cam Akers from making big plays. The coach said the Gators might have exerted too much aggression in their quest to stop Akers.

“We were overly aggressive because we wanted to tackle Cam, that’s no secret. I’m happy they weren’t scared. They swarm, they swarm, they swarm, but now we have to break down. You have a kid like Cam Akers and he’ll break you down,” Rogers said. “Sometimes you have to slow yourself down … because sometimes they wait for you to over pursue and they cut back. I’ve seen it all my life.”


• Vicksburg 21, Clinton 21

• Porters Chapel vs. Clinton Christian, Saturday, 10 a.m., at PCA

• Warren Central at Brandon, May 19, 6 p.m.

• St. Aloysius will not have a spring game