Talented Cougars pose stiff test for WC

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 18, 2002

[10/18/02]Robert Morgan remembers how close his team came to losing at Northwest Rankin a season ago.

He said then that the hard-luck Cougars were the best team with a bad record around. This year is about the same.

The Cougars (3-4, 1-2 Region 2-5A) bring a talented team into Viking Stadium that beat Clinton, but lost to Callaway.

The team’s explosiveness gives Morgan some major concerns.

“The biggest thing is that they have nine seniors on offense and six on defense,” Morgan said. “That tells you that they are a mature, veteran team.”

The Cougars field a team with nine seniors and a junior, but the best talent may lie in the legs of a sophomore.

Jeremy Bibbs, a California transfer, does not start but will see plenty of action at tailback. The standout basketball player, a 6-foot, 2-inch, 206-pounder, could be one of the best around, Morgan said.

“He doesn’t know how good he could be,” Morgan said. “One day he is going to be something special. He is an awesome talent.”

Quarterback Keats Baldwin and explosive tailback Phillip Armstrong, coupled with receiver T. Mac Howard pose a test for any defense.

“They are about the most multiple offense that you will see,” Morgan said. “They’ll be in a different formation about every time they come to the line.”

The fifth-ranked Vikings (7-0, 3-0) provide plenty of weapons themselves. Senior Richmond Fields leads Class 5A with 831 yards on 134 carries and eight touchdowns. Quarterback Jeremy Ferguson is completing more than 50 percent of his passes and has thrown for six TDs.

On defense, the Vikings may still be without starting middle linebacker Tyler DeRossette. The hard-hitting linebacker had surgery on his hand and is questionable for tonight’s game.

Should DeRossette not play, sophomore Jessie Pedyfoot will start again.

WC can climb closer to clinching a playoff spot with a victory, but this matchup will be the start of a brutal final stretch of the season.

WC will host Clinton next week, then travel to Murrah and Vicksburg to end the season.

“They concern me and I would be stupid if they didn’t concern me,” Morgan said of the Cougars. “If our players aren’t ready to play, they’ll be in for a long night.”