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Vikings try to keep playoff hopes alive

[10/26/01]What’s becoming a familiar sight this season will happen again tonight.

An undersized Warren Central team hits the road to battle a bigger opponent. And this opponent is mad.

The Vikings (4-4, 2-2 Region 2-5A) renew their annual rivalry with a Clinton team coming off a 30-10 drubbing by Vicksburg. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“All I know is they whipped Northwest Rankin,” said Clinton (4-4, 3-1) coach David Bradberry of the Vikings’ 13-10 win over the Cougars one week ago. “What people don’t realize is the schedule (WC) had played and the people that have beaten them.”

Warren Central, hammered by injuries at virtually every position, has lost to No. 4 Madison Central, No. 10 South Pike, No. 11 Wayne County and division rival Forest Hill, which opened the season 6-0 before losing its last two.

“It’s a deal where they’ve been hurt by injuries,” said Bradberry, a former WC assistant.

“They still have that guy throwing the football (Brett Morgan) and have some explosive backs and receivers.”

Brett Morgan ranks second in Warren County with 760 yards and five touchdowns. He threw a 67-yarder to Carlton Bradford in the Northwest Rankin win.

Bradford, who had back-to-back 100-yard games, is questionable tonight with a sore ankle as WC digs deeper into its already depleted receiving corps.

Running back Richmond Fields, who was starting for the injured Pat Minor, is also ailing.

The Arrows, who have also been hampered by injuries, will have standout running back Desean Dyson and cornerback Phillip Davis.

Quarterback Mike Cashion leads an offense that features three running backs in the backfield and wide receiver Oge Oge, a 6-foot-3 high riser.

“They’re not as good as they were last year, but they have a lot of young talent,” Morgan said of the Arrows who made it to the Class 5A state championship game last season. “They took it on the chin a few times before they learned how to step up and play.

“They will have a good team and it will be hard for us to whip.”

Morgan knows the Vikings will bring the fight. Keeping their state-record 16-straight playoff appearances will rely on winning at least two of their last three games. After tonight, the Vikings host Murrah and then archrival and 14th-ranked Vicksburg.

“We have to worry about the battle within ourselves and I think our boys have done real good doing those things,” Morgan said. “… On paper, it looks like it might be a pretty even ballgame.”