Vikings, Hicks slam Refrigerator’ doors on Callaway, 35-0

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 2, 2000

Warren Central one-upped the Chicago Bears of the mid-1980s. The 1986 Super Bowl champs had William “Refrigerator” Perry, a defensive lineman who occasionally played in the backfield.

Friday, the Vikings unveiled their version of the Fridge and theirs is a double-door.

Defensive linemen Corey Nettle and Thad Henderson lined up beside fullback John Hicks that’s 770 pounds of “running backs” for one play and led him to his second touchdown of the night in a 35-0 shellacking of Callaway (3-3, 0-2 Region 2-5A).

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“That’s what we call Jumbo,” WC coach Robert Morgan said of the play.

“It worked pretty good,” he said with a smile. “We might run the clock out with them in there.”

Hicks, a bruising 230-pounder, had to fight for most of his team-high 87 yards. But the blocking tandem of Henderson (280 pounds) and Nettle (260) made his second score his easiest run of the night.

“I could have turned a backward flip into the end zone if I’d wanted to,” Hicks said, chuckling, his arm in a sling with a slightly dislocated shoulder. “That was all muscle in front of me.”

The No. 8 Vikings (6-0, 2-0) also used a little finesse against the Chargers. After a 29-yard reverse by Larry King on his first carry, Brett Morgan lofted a 21-yard touchdown pass to Carlton Bradford, who came down with the ball in traffic. Kicker Todd Monsour, who had more than enough distance on a 49-yard field goal attempt but missed wide, nailed his fourth PAT to make it 28-0 with a minute left in the half.

Before Hicks’ second score, Morgan hit Kacy Jones on third-and-12 to keep the eight-play, 40-yard drive going.

Pat Minor gave the Vikings a 14-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter with a 10-yard score one play after Hicks rumbled up the middle for 39 yards.

Four minutes into the game, Hicks dragged defenders to the 1, then scored on the next play.

“I just can’t stand to get tackled by one guy,” Hicks said.

He never was.

“John came to play tonight,” Morgan said. “He made the difference. He deserves a pat on the back.”

Omar Jackson picked up where the other runners left off on the opening drive of the second half. He carried the ball six times for 66 yards in the two drives. He had a 1-yard touchdown, WC’s last one, with 7:38 left in the third quarter. After Richmond Fields returned the kickoff to the Callaway 36, Jackson went 6 yards for a first down after dribbling a pitchout, then sprinted 18 yards up the sideline on an option to set up his score.

WC ran for 226 yards on 34 carries while holding the Chargers to 127 total yards. Callaway’s Marcus April had 28 carries for 93 yards.

Tyler DeRossette led the defense with 14 tackles. Henderson had 12, Robert Kapp chipped in 11 and Nettle had 10 tackles and a fumble recovery that set up the first touchdown. Kelvin Martin had nine tackles, including one for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-1 to set the table for the WC Refrigerators’ debut.

“I’m ready to score my touchdown,” said Henderson, who was smiling and limping after the game. He suffered a bruised leg and expects to be back for the showdown with defending Class 5A state champion Madison Central next week. “That’s a big game for us. We’re out to get respect.”

So, will Morgan consider giving the ball to Henderson or Nettle?

“There’s a chance,” he said with a sly grin. “We’ve got to keep ’em guessing.”