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Vikings looking to stop bending, break out at Callaway

[10/04/01]Most of the injuries, unlucky calls and close games have gone against Warren Central so far this season.

But WC coach Robert Morgan isn’t getting philosophical, writing off the first half of the season as “just one of those years.”

He’s getting more determined as the Vikings prepare to play Callaway at North Jackson Field off U.S. 49 North Friday night.

“We hadn’t had much our way this time, but I’m a coach that believes you make your own breaks. I’m not a coach that thinks it’s one of those year’ type of deals,” Morgan said. “I just feel like if we’re going to have breaks, we’re going to have to make them and do something with them … I’m not being a crybaby or nothing, but we’ve just got to play hard. And one day that old Viking will raise its head up.”

WC’s three losses have come by a total of 20 points, and none have been by more than eight, but the Vikings have yet to click on all cylinders for an entire game. Different parts of the team have stumbled at different times.

Early on, it was the running game that generated less than 200 yards in WC’s first three games. Last week, Richmond Fields became the Vikings’ first 100-yard rusher this season, but the defense allowed a late touchdown in a 24-17 loss to Forest Hill in their Region 2-5A opener.

“We played good offensively and in spurts played good defensively. We’re just not stopping them. We’ve got to play better on defense,” Morgan said. “All year it’s looked like we’ve had pretty good defense, but we’ve not stopped anybody. They drive down the field and we get a turnover or something like that. There’s a whole lot of bending.”

And bending is something the Vikings can’t afford to do anymore. With tough region games against No. 3 Madison Central and Clinton coming up in the next three weeks, a win against Callaway (3-2, 0-1) would go a long way in keeping WC in the playoff hunt.

Morgan said it won’t be as easy to claim a win as some people might think. The Chargers boast an offensive line that averages 265 pounds per man, and Jeffrey Watkins, WC’s starting strong safety, will miss the game with a rotator cuff injury. Morgan said Watkins is “questionable” for the rest of the season.

“Callaway’s another big team like Forest Hill. The only games they’ve lost have been to Madison Central and Forest Hill. Those are two good teams,” Morgan said. “Callaway is big and talented. They’re very capable of beating anybody they play. They’re the kind of football team, if you let them hang around for a while, they’ll get better and better and better.”

Morgan was hopeful that the Vikings get better as they go along. He noted that while the close losses were a little encouraging, his team needs to turn those “L’s” into “W’s” in a hurry.

“Right now I’m really concerned, like I have been all year, more about our Vikings.

“Our attitudes, and keeping our heads up, and keeping on fighting, because we’re still in this thing,” Morgan said.

“We’re digging a deeper and deeper hole for ourselves, and we’ve got to start winning ballgames. It’s pressure time. It’s a place we don’t find ourselves in very often, especially in our division.”