WC rocks Rams
Published 12:00 am Monday, September 25, 2000
Pat Minor of Warren Central looks up field as he crashes past the line as lineman Antonio Ross (64) looks on. (The Vicksburg Post/PAT SHANNAHAN)
Warren Central’s smash-mouth running game grounded pass-happy Gentry Friday night, 47-28, at steamy, soggy Viking Field.
Pat Minor carried 18 times for 159 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Vikings’ offense decimated a porous defense for 418 yards on their biggest scoring night of the season.
With the win, the No. 8 Vikings stayed undefeated at 5-0 and got their first Region 2-5A win. The Rams fell to 0-5.
“Last year (against Gentry) we had a good night running the ball so we tried to come out tonight and run straight at them,” said Minor, a 6-foot, 190-pound junior. “I pushed hard all night, but I have to give all the credit to my linemen.”
John Hicks had 66 yards on 10 carries, Perry McGee netted 45 yards and junior Omar Jackson had 49 yards and a touchdown. Leonard Harris scored a touchdown and quarterback Brett Morgan had a 2-yard scoring run.
“I told our running backs all week that we should score on every play,” WC coach Robert Morgan said. “… This was a good game for us. We didn’t get anyone hurt and won the game. They scored more than I wanted them to, but (Gentry quarterback Michael Spurlock) is not bad.”
Spurlock, who came into the game with 13 touchdowns, had four TD passes and completed 21 of 41 for 249 yards, but he was intercepted four times three by Chris Hemphill and one by Carlton Bradford.
Spurlock, the team’s quarterback, punter and field goal kicker, was also the team’s leading rusher with 42 yards on 12 carries. In a 74-71 loss to Ruleville earlier in the season, Spurlock set the state single-game passing mark with well over 500 yards and nine touchdowns.
“That joker had more moves than a cat,” said WC linebacker Robert Kapp with a chuckle.
A pair of Viking turnovers they had four fumbles on the night led to 14 Gentry points as the visitors stunned Warren Central by taking a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter. But soon after, the Vikings figured out a way to stop the record-setting passer.
“They started rushing me more and trying to put a lot of pressure on me,” Spurlock said. “Early on, they were rushing just three, and I had a lot of time.”
Brian Wyms had 120 yards on 11 catches to lead the Rams.
“They put just enough pressure on us to throw us out of sync offensively,” said Gentry coach Rickey Taylor, who was an offensive assistant at Alcorn State during Steve McNair’s four seasons. “And defensively, we had the same problem we’ve had all year and that’s stopping people.”
Warren Central averaged nearly 7 yards per play and Brett Morgan completed 6 of 7 passes for 118 yards. David Chaney played most of the second half and completed both of his pass attempts, including an 8-yard touchdown to Kacy Jones late in the fourth quarter.
Todd Monsour booted a pair of field goals (33 and 27 yards) and three extra points. Chaney also connected with Tyler DeRossette on a 2-point conversion late in the second half.
Monsour gave the Vikings an early 3-0 lead with his 33-yarder. Harris’ plunge gave WC a 10-7 lead before Gentry regained the lead on an 18-yard pass from Spurlock to Adrian Cobbs.
The Vikings put the game out of reach in the second quarter on a pair of Minor TD runs (6 and 16 yards), a Morgan quarterback keeper for a 2-yard score and Monsour’s second field goal for a 35-14 halftime lead.
Jackson plunged in from 1 yard out with 1:47 left in the third to up the lead to 41-14. Jones’ TD catch, sandwiched between two Spurlock TD passes, with 2:54 left in the game put the finishing touches on the win.
Warren Central controlled the ball in the second half for nearly 17 minutes, keeping the dangerous Rams’ offense off the field.
“We had the ball one time in the third quarter, and you just can’t do that and expect to win anything,” Taylor said.
Next up for WC will be a second straight home game against Callaway, which lost its first game Thursday, 41-14, to Clinton. The Chargers feature one of the best running backs in the state in Marcus April.
“They are a better team than (Gentry),” Coach Morgan said. “I know talent-wise they are very good, but we’re going to be healthy for them and home for them, and we are going to work very hard to win our sixth ballgame.”