Gators score late to pull out come-from-behind win at Terry

Published 12:40 am Saturday, September 16, 2023

TERRY — For the second week in a row, the Vicksburg Gators fell behind by two touchdowns. And, for the second week in a row, they came all the way back to win.

Cedrick Blackmore scored two rushing touchdowns, including the game-winner from 8 yards out with 43 seconds left, to give Vicksburg a thrilling 26-20 victory over Terry on Friday.

The Gators (3-1) ripped off 20 unanswered points to win, after they also overcame a 14-point deficit to beat Natchez in overtime last week.

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“We started off slow and started playing fast in the second half,” Vicksburg coach Chris Lacey said. “Even though we got a ‘W,’ we made too many mistakes. I’m not thinking about Terry, I’m thinking about a state championship and bigger games where those things will get you beat.”

Vicksburg scored first in this one, on a 35-yard pass from Ronnie Alexander to Tyler Henderson. Terry returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, however, and led 20-6 in the third quarter.

Apparently, that’s right where the Gators wanted them.

Henderson caught another long touchdown pass from Alexander, this one for 65 yards, midway through the third quarter and Blackmore scored on an 8-yard run with 9:43 left in the fourth to tie it.

“It was the same thing as last week — doing the football stuff right, being energetic,” Lacey said. “We’ve got one of the deepest football teams in the state in terms of talent. We just have to do the football stuff.”

With about two minutes left, Terry forced a Vicksburg punt near midfield. The returner muffed it, however, and VHS recovered at the 21-yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty two plays later moved it to the 8, and Blackmore took it in on the next snap to give the Gators a 26-20 lead.

Terry’s final possession ended when Rick Ross intercepted a pass.

“When mistakes happen, if you’re in the right spot they work out for you just like it worked out for them when we made mistakes,” Lacey said.

Although it hasn’t been easy, Vicksburg assured itself of a winning record in non-region play for the first time since 2016. It’ll finish that part of the schedule next week against Yazoo City.

“It’s big for the kids because it gives them something to hang their hat on. It’s something we haven’t done here in a while,” Lacey said. “It’s good to get a little history. But the focus has to be on cleaning up our mistakes.”