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Biloxi blanks Gators

Vicksburg High took a long trip to the Coast Friday night, and what felt like an even longer one back home.

Biloxi jumped on the Gators for two touchdowns early, piled on two more in the second quarter, and cruised home in the second half to a 27-0 victory in its season opener. Senior running back K.K. Kendrick scored two touchdowns for Biloxi.

Vicksburg fell to 0-2 and has yet to score a point this season. It was shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since 1994. It will try to break out of its offensive funk next week with a road trip to Natchez.

“We’ve just got to come back and go back to work. This one is over and we got to go back to work and keep chopping wood,” first-year Vicksburg coach Todd McDaniel said.

The Gators gave up a 20-yard touchdown run by Kendrick on the opening drive, and then fumbled on their own first possession. Biloxi’s Elijah Sabbatini returned it for a touchdown and a quick 14-0 lead, then the Indians pulled away in the second quarter as Kendrick added a 4-yard TD run.

“They had us on our heels all night,” McDaniel said. “We couldn’t get anything going offensively. It was one of those nights. They outplayed us up front. The defense played well in spots and the special teams did well.”

Among the bright spots, McDaniel added, was the play of the defense — it did not allow a point in the second half — and some younger players who got on the field once the game was out of hand.

“Our ninth-graders got in and moved the ball a little bit. They didn’t score, but they showed some flashes,” McDaniel said.

Friday’s game, which was added to the schedule in early August, was a rare meeting between Vicksburg and Biloxi. It was the first they’d played each other since 1977, and only the fourth time ever.