'Cats Defense, Mistakes too Much for Gators

'Cats Defense, Mistakes too Much for Gators

Vicksburg's evening ended much like it began, trying to corral Clarksdale's Charles Mitchell. Mitchell got the scoring started on an eight-yard plunge and on his final carry of the contest Charles galloped 56 yards down to the Gator 26 yard line. Despite Charles' big night, the Wildcat defense paved the path to victory.

Trailing 8-0 after Mitchell's touchdown and a successful two-point conversion attempt, Stanton Price led the Vickburg offensive all the way down inside the Clarksdale five-yard line. The impressive drive ended on fourth down fumble which swung the early momentum into Clarksdale's favor.

The Gator defense clamped down on the ensuing Wildcat drive and forced a punt that Mississippi State commitment Delmon Robinson returned all the way back to the Clarksdale 11-yard line.

Vicksburg did little with the next three plays, but Ryan Ferrington's field goal put the Gators on the board, 8-3.

After the teams traded fruitless possessions, Clarksdale put together an impressive eight play 70-yard drive that ended when quarterback Brandon Williams plunged to the goal line on a five yard scamper. Mitchell did the honors on the two-point conversion and The 'Cats went into the halftime locker room leading 16-3.

The second half began just like the first half ended, with another Wildcat touchdown on a one yard dive by Jeran Turner. The conversion attempt was unsuccesful.

Down 22-3, it appeared Vicksburg may be about done, but appearances can be deceiving.

Stanton Price connected with John Qualls for a key first down inside the Wildcat 20 before hitting Les Lemons on a 15-yard TD pass. The extra point attempt failed, but the Gators had new life trailing 22-9.

With their star Charles Mitchell sidelined with cramps, Clarksdale answered the Vicksburg score with one of their own. A methodical masterpiece of a drive ended when Tim Jackson found the end zone to put the defending 4A North half champs up 28-9 with just under 12 minutes to play.

Another Delmon Robinson returned added by a personal foul penalty had the Gators back in business. A 36-yard connection between Price and Lemons once again put the Gators back within reach. A Delmon Robinson run on a nifty fake extra point attempt brought the score to 28-17.

The next two Clarksdale drives ended in identical fashion. Vicksburg discovered a breakdown in the Clarksdale punt protection scheme and blocked punts on consecutive possessions. Despite the special teams' drama, the Wildcat defense stood tall and kept Vicksburg out of the end zone.

The Gators were making their 4A debut and they certainly showed that they can be a force in the classification.

"I think we played pretty well. They are a good team and we will see them again," said Vicksburg wide receiver Delmon Robinson. "We had our chances. We got inside their 20 yard line three times and just didn't get the ball in the endzone."

Clarksdale (1-0) will travel to South Panola next week, while Vicksburg (0-1) will play in county rival Warren Central.

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