Pirates looking to bounce back from big loss in opener

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2000

No Warren Central players came off the field with cramps in Friday’s season-opening win over Picayune, despite the temperature reaching nearly 100 degrees. No Vikings were lost to injury either.

“Our guys have to love football if they are going to stay out here in this 100-degree weather and keep practicing,” WC coach Robert Morgan said. “… I admire them because it is hotter now than when I played football. If it were this hot, I don’t even know if I would have played.”

The forecast still calls for extremely hot weather fro Friday night’s game at Pearl, but WC will not have to play another 6 p.m. game. The Pirates and Vikings are scheduled to kick off at 7:30.

WC and Pearl come into the game from different directions.

The Vikings (1-0) are coming off an impressive 30-0 blanking of Picayune, while the Pirates (0-1) lost 40-14 to No. 3 Clinton.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” first-year Pearl coach Larry Weems said. “We got a butt whoopin’ last week and we can either take another one, or get up and fight.”

Morgan expects them to get up and fight.

“They run a very good offense, once it gets clicking,” said Morgan, whose team beat Pearl at WC last year, 24-14. “We just hope it doesn’t get clicking against us.”

A defensive and special teams effort like last week’s should take care of that.

The Vikings converted a pair of Picayune turnovers into scores, held the Maroon Tide on a field goal attempt after a fumbled snap and had to punt just once.

“They only punted once, too, and that is because we were able to create turnovers,” Morgan said. “… Defensively, we bent, but never broke.”

Such was the case in last year’s matchup with Pearl. Running back Steven Alexander, now a freshman at Hinds, blistered WC for more than 150 yards. Derrick Alexander has been moved from fullback to tailback this year. He scored against Clinton well after the game was salted away.

“I don’t think we had many play well at all,” Weems said. “We didn’t play up to our ability and got the snot kicked out of us.”

Morgan said he has been working this week with the long snappers, but overall, he has been pleased with his team’s effort.

“It will be a typical Warren Central team,” Weems said. “They are well coached and play hard … There’s no secret to this game, we just have to line up and play ball.”