Vikings wary of small, but solid South Pike squad

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 13, 2002

[09/13/02]When South Pike takes the field tonight at Warren Central, don’t be fooled by its size, or lack thereof.

WC coach Robert Morgan said fans may see the little South Pike team as not much of a challenge, but his Vikings certainly do.

“Whenever people see those little itty-bitty boys they got, they’ll think they don’t have anything,” Morgan said. “But they’re wrong.”

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The heaviest player on the ninth-ranked Eagles is 215 pounds. Only one player on the offensive line is bigger than 220 pounds, but they make up for it with plenty of speed.

“We have to block in front of us and behind us,” Morgan said. “If we don’t, they’ll run us down.”

The Eagles opened the season with back-to-back wins over Class 3A opponents both blowouts.

Quarterback Fred Jones, a 5-foot-6, 135-pound junior, leads an explosive offense that is blessed with speed from top to bottom.

“If he were six or seven inches taller, schools from around the country would be flying in to see him,” South Pike coach Greg Wall said. “He reminds me of that quarterback from Wayne County (Akeem Lofton).”

Through two games, Jones is 9-of-19 passing for 223 yards and four touchdowns. Morgan said he reminds him of Doug Flutie.

The Vikings, who entered the Associated Press Top 20 poll this week at No. 12, are fresh off a 19-16 win over McComb.

Running back Richmond Fields is averaging more than 150 yards rushing per game and senior quarterback Jeremy Ferguson is growing into the position. His second career start ended with a dramatic 95-yard drive in the closing minute to lead WC to the win over McComb.

South Pike beat Warren Central last year in Magnolia, 8-0, in a defensive struggle. The speed of both teams should make this one more high-scoring, Wall said.

“Whoever is able to throw the ball will have a good chance at winning,” Wall said. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see two or three touchdowns each.”

For Morgan, it’s a chance to make a big splash in the team’s first home game of the season.

“This should be a great high school football game,” said Morgan, who has coached in all-star games with the veteran Wall. “I know they’ll bring a good crowd, so we really need to make this into a home-field advantage.

“… Our first four games are good ones and hopefully we can come out of them smelling like a rose. But we have to take them one at a time.”