Morgan: It’s easiest game for coaches
Published 12:00 am Friday, November 3, 2000
Warren Central’s players have worked themselves into a frenzy this week in practice. And all coach Robert Morgan has to do is sit back and relax.
Why wouldn’t he?
His No. 13 Vikings (8-2) own an 18-1 advantage in the series with Vicksburg and they clinched a playoff berth with last week’s win at Callaway.
“This one’s for fun,” Morgan said. “It’s the easiest game to coach from the standpoint that we don’t have to get them motivated.
“We’ve had to try to keep them settled down … (Tonight), we’ll just have to let ’em out of the pen.”
Senior defensive lineman Thad Henderson does have a little extra incentive to beat the Gators (7-3) in his last game against them.
“I saw them dancing on our field after they won,” he said, referring to the eighth- and ninth-grade Gators’ wins over WC last week. “I’ve got that stuck in my head.”
Henderson and the Vikings will have a chance to do the same thing on Vicksburg’s field tonight.
But Henderson said they won’t.
“No, we’ll just act like (winning) is what’s supposed to happen,” he said.
Winning is what the Vikings have done all year, their lone losses coming to Top 5 teams Clinton and Madison Central, both of which also happen to be in Region 2-5A.
Fullback John Hicks leads a bevy of backs with 598 yards and 11 TDs. Four tailbacks split time.
Quarterback Brett Morgan has been an efficient passer, completing 52 of 120 for five touchdowns and just two interceptions. Kacy Jones is his top target, with 13 catches for 228 yards and two TDs.
The Vikings also have a weapon in senior placekicker Todd Monsour, who is 4-of-6 on field goals and 28-of-30 on extra points. He booted a pair of field goals the last time WC played at VHS.
But defense has been the Vikings’ ticket all season.
WC has allowed just 10.8 points per game and recorded three shutouts.
Vicksburg wingbacks J.J. Brown and Terry Cooper will put plenty of pressure on them.
“They have excellent speed and they score a lot of points,” Coach Morgan said. “Sometimes the misdirection scores on us early, before we get acclimated to it. We need to avoid that, but if we don’t, we don’t need to let it upset us.”
Morgan said that Brown and Cooper concern him and he “has a lot of respect” for quarterback Antonio Rainey.
“They always get after us hard,” Morgan said. “But I’m friends with their coaches before and after the game. The fans need to remember it’s just a ballgame. Everyone needs to leave it on the field.”
The Gators’ lone win was 10-9 in 1990 at Memorial Stadium.
Even so, that puts plenty of pressure on the Vikings, defensive lineman Stewart Lott said.
“We don’t want to be the ones to lose to them,” he said.
Morgan isn’t worried about it.
“I’ve never felt pressure because I know our kids and I know the effort will be there,” he said. “Besides, they’ll have to win 17 times before catching us, and I’ll be dead by then.”