Gators beat Columbus in overtime shootout for first region win since 2021

Published 10:34 pm Friday, January 12, 2024

Three years to the day since its last region win, Vicksburg High’s boys’ soccer team ended its long losing streak in dramatic fashion.

The Gators rallied from a two-goal deficit at halftime to force overtime, and then keeper Arthur Davis made three saves in a penalty kick shootout to give them a victory over Columbus on Friday.

The game went to overtime tied 2-2, and Vicksburg outscored Columbus 3-2 in the shootout.

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The Gators (4-11-2, 1-4 MHSAA Region 2-6A) earned their first region win since Jan. 12, 2021, when they beat Provine 7-2. They had lost 13 region games in a row since then.

“I told my guys at halftime that when adversity strikes, how do you persevere? They came out fighting and I’m proud of them,” Vicksburg coach Maurice Gilliam said.

Columbus led 2-0 at halftime, but the Gators’ Dacion Brown and Cameron Nailor scored goals about five minutes apart midway through the second half.

It remained tied through the rest of regulation and two overtime periods, then went to the shootout. Brown, Abel Gonzalez and Cannon Jackson scored for Vicksburg. Davis let two of Columbus’ shots get past him, but stopped three to secure the victory.

Davis also had eight saves before the shootout.

Vicksburg 6, Columbus 0
Amari Johnson and Trinity McGloster scored two goals apiece as the Vicksburg Missy Gators picked up an important Region 2-6A win against Columbus.

Vicksburg only led 1-0 at halftime, then scored five times in the second half to turn it into a blowout. Kennedy Mullins and Camden McGloster each had a goal, in addition to the ones from Johnson and Trinity McGloster. Keeper Lili Kistler made two saves for the shutout.

Vicksburg (5-7, 2-3 Region 2-6A) snapped a two-game losing streak and, more importantly, picked up the season sweep against a Columbus (3-11-1, 0-5) team it is battling for the final playoff spot from Region 2-6A.

The Missy Gators have league games remaining with Ridgeland (Jan. 19), Warren Central (Jan. 23) and Neshoba Central (Jan. 25). They can clinch a playoff berth with one more win, or one more loss by Columbus.

Friday’s result also clinched a playoff berth for Warren Central (11-4, 4-0).

“That’s absolutely a big win for them,” Gilliam said of his team. “It was a big momentum shift in the second half. We took a lot of shots. We were going for the shutout.”