Sophomore Pedyfoot gets the nod in place of injured senior DeRossette

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 11, 2002

[10/11/02]The numbers game has always played an important role in football.

Tonight won’t be any different, especially when rivals Warren Central and Madison Central collide in Region 2-5A play.

One of the biggest numbers for the Vikings will be No. 20 and he won’t be on the field.

Tyler DeRossette, the team’s defensive leader, strained his knee in the Callaway game and then broke his hand a few days later in practice.

“Tyler is a super leader and it’s going to be interesting to see and to watch the other seniors take up the slack and the leadership role. We’ll be putting a sophomore in his place, Jesse Pedyfoot. He played well Friday after he went in,” Morgan said. “You don’t replace a Tyler, but you fill in and everybody pulls together to fill that void.”

The Vikings haven’t beaten Madison in 10 years, but are 6-0 with a defense that tends to hold opponents to single digit points. The winless-in-region Jaguars will defend their home turf with only five returning starters under first-year coach Ted Taylor.

Throw in the fact that the Jaguars will be trying to avoid a deadly 0-3 start in region play, and Morgan’s team will be squaring off against a very dangerous, hungry team.

“It’s like I told the boys at chalk-talk Monday. I wrote on the board, we’re 6-0, Madison is 3-3. What does this mean? Bottom line, it don’t mean nothing, it’s a division game,” Vikings coach Robert Morgan said.

A game that hasn’t lost any of its luster even though the Jaguars are 0-2 in Region 2-5A play and have yet to exert the dominance they’ve shown since the early 1990s.

Part of the Jaguars’ problem may stem from the fact that their large talent pool has been weakened with the school zone split that took place in the summer, and another factor may be the young team that has had to grow up fast against difficult competition.

“We look at this game and you can throw the records out. We feel real good about Friday night and we’re going to fight real hard,” Taylor said. “Friday night we make a stand. We love the challenge.”

If there is a void that can be found in the Vikings’ defense, it is likely Jaguars’ quarterback Dillon Sudduth will exploit it. He has been one of the few bright spots through Madison’s season, and is a player, Morgan said, that “last year literally beat us by himself.”

“I think it’s going to boil down to wills,” Morgan said. “It’s going to boil down to preparation and the willingness and determination to fight for 48 minutes, because it will take all night to whip them, and it will sure take all night to whip us.”