A red storm rising at Viking Stadium

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 2, 2002

Antonio Brown of Warren Central closes in on Forest Hill’s James Weathersby as Rod Montgomery nears during the Vikings’ 41-7 win over the Rebels on Friday. The Warren Central defense is allowing just nine points per game as the team has vaulted to a 5-0 record. (The Vicksburg Post/Melanie Duncan)

[10/02/02]Liberty-Eylau, McComb, South Pike, Natchez and Forest Hill have already been hit.

Callaway’s days are numbered.

The Warren Central defense, still shy of being compared to the vaunted Red Death defense of the early-1990s, is lingering. And for those teams planning to bang helmets with Warren Central beware, the Vikings defense is considered lethal.

“You can describe us as the Red Death, like the defense was in the early ’90’s, but I don’t know that we’re as good as them yet,” said Tyler DeRossette, member of the linebacking force called “The Wrecking Crew.”

Some would disagree.

The Vikings’ defense has made a name for themselves the old fashioned way, with production on the field.

Opponents are averaging a mere nine points a game, and in five games, the Vikings have only allowed 16 second-half points. The only red zone opponents are accustomed to seeing is when they are buried under a wave of Vikings’ defenders.

“Just watching us get to the ball is something. Coach (Robert) Morgan says, Get those red hats fired up like a bunch of bees,’ and that’s what it look likes,” DeRossette said. “It’s just not one or two people on a tackle, it’s about eight or nine.”

The WC coaches will be quick to point out that the the team’s success is not based solely on the defense. The offense has tallied nearly 500 yards a game but the Vikings’ defense has been the red light for many teams that are accustomed to moving the ball.

And they’re not bashful at taking some of the offensive team’s glory, either. As Morgan said, “We’ve scored about every way you can on defense.”

With the defense in a red frenzy each week, the Viking offense has tripled their opponents offensive production and outscored them 171-44.

“My personal feeling is that your football team feeds off your defense. A lot of times we’ve put our offense in good field position,” Morgan said. “Defense wins championships and offense puts people on the stands.”

The Viking defense has made a habit of putting offenses on the sidelines, but when asked about the nine points per game the defense has allowed, Morgan will say with a menacing scowl the team has adopted, “That’s too much, that’s really too much.”

But the WC coaches will admit what everyone else is beginning to learn, the Vikings’ defense is a force to be reckoned with.

“Our defense really has played good, but they have seven starters back and they’ve taken up where they’ve left off,” Morgan said. “I don’t believe we have a player over there that won’t hit you, I don’t believe we have a player that won’t run after the ball, I don’t believe we have a player that will take a play off.

“And that has been the secret to them.”

If the defense was a secret, then the secret has been exposed. Word has been spreading week to week.

“For a month or two, people in Warren County didn’t even know we had a football team out here,” defensive coordinator Curtis Brewer said. “The kids are just trying to get a little recognition, I guess, playing with a mission.”

The mission is a simple one help the team win games. And so far the Viking defense has been successful as WC has posted a 5-0 record.

“Just come out and watch the Vikings do their thing on defense, because it’s awesome to watch,” DeRossette said.