Lawrence Co. guts Gators

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 21, 2009

VICKSBURG – The Lawrence County Cougars snapped a 3-game losingstreak in dominating fashion Friday night, hammering the VicksburgGators in high school football action. The Cougars, playing withoutsome of their star players, raced to a 21-0 first-quarter lead andwere never threatened at all.

Sophomore Alexander Montgomery rushed for 154 yards and atouchdown, and returned a kickoff for a touchdown to pace LawrenceCounty. Trevor Havis rushed for 3 scores and kicked 6 extra points.So comfortable was the LCHS win that 11 different rushers got achance to carry the football.

With the win, Lawrence County improved to 2-3 on the season,while 6A Vicksburg fell to 0-4. The win was just what the doctorordered, according to sixth-year Cougar coach Mike Davis.

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“I thought we had played some good football the last couple ofweeks,” Davis said. “but our kids hadn’t gotten a W to show for it.I’m glad they were able to have some more success tonight, and toenjoy that happy bus ride home.

“We played a decent game, and a lot of kids had the opportunityto play and contribute. It was a good night for our team.”

With Dandy Dozen running back Matthew Wells out with a pulledgroin muscle, and with fellow senior standout runner Josh Cameronstill hampered by a sore ankle and a week of illness, Davis had toturn to Montgomery, Havis and others. The results showed Cougarsfans that there are younger Cougars out there that can move thefootball.

“Obviously, we needed to win the game,” Davis said. “Weaccomplished that, and showed that we’ve got some underclassmenthat can play. There’s no substitute for varsity game experienceand a lot of guys got their first heavy does of that tonight.”

Lawrence County’s Nicholas McDonald recovered a Vicksburg fumbleon the opening kickoff and the Cougars capitalized immediately,with Havis running for 17 yards and a touchdown on his team’s firstoffensive play.

Midway through the first quarter, Havis scored on a 6-yard run,making it a 14-0 game. Havis and linebacker Lakendrick Barnes bothhad first-quarter fumble recoveries, resulting in plenty ofopportunities for the LCHS offense. Montgomery capitalized on oneof the Gator turnovers in the last minute of the first quarter,scoring on a 2-yard run.

With 5:06 left in the first half, Havis scored his thirdtouchdown of the half, a 30-yard run. It was a banner night for thejunior, who also hit 6-of-7 extra point attempts (the other wasblocked).

Vicksburg, meanwhile, was having no offensive success againstthe LCHS defense. The Gators picked up just 2 first downs in thefirst half, and gained only 77 yards on the night, despite the factthat Lawrence County substituted liberally throughout the game.

Vicksburg graduated 32 seniors off last year’s team.

The second half started with a spectacular 91-yard kickoffreturn by Montgomery, who appeared to be totally hemmed in after amodest return but somehow managed to emerge from the pile and raceunmolested for the score.

Midway through the third quarter, tight end Ben Armstrong foundhimself at running back, and scored on a 3-yard run. Tremaine Brownscored the final Cougars TD on an 8-yad run early in the fourthquarter.

The Cougars lost their shutout with 3:20 left in the game, whenGator defensive back Stefon Demby grabbed a Cougar fumble and raced60 yards for a score.

So humble was the Vicksburg offensive output that Raphael Harrisled the Gators with 23 rushing yards. Quarterback Cameron Cooksey,harassed unmercifully by LCHS pass rushers, managed to complete 6of 19 passes for 46 yards.

Fullback William Turnage rushed 6 times for 34 yards forLawrence County. Brown ended up with 40 yards on 6 tries.

Lawrence County will be on the road again this Friday, travelingto 4A power Quitman for a non-division contest.