Vikings hand win to No. 14 McComb
Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 11, 2003
[9/7/03]Warren Central had the game in its grasp but let it slip away, losing to McComb 20-14.
After dominating in the first half for a 14-0 lead, the Vikings couldn’t put anything together after halftime and fell victim to turnovers.
“When we get up like that, we can’t let down,” WC quarterback Christian Hales said. “We’ve just got to take it to them again and go in there and finish the job. And we didn’t, but we’re going to work on that.”
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With 1:48 left in the fourth quarter, McComb pinned the Vikings on their own 1-yard line. On the first play after that, WC’s Jason Williams fumbled in the end zone, and McComb fell on the ball for the game-winning score.
The Vikings had one final shot to come back after returning the kickoff to the 27, but turned the ball over on downs after four plays. McComb kneeled to run out the clock.
“We let it get away. That’s all there was to it,” WC coach Robert Morgan said. “We didn’t get ourselves ready to play.”
The Vikings took a 14-0 lead into halftime on touchdown runs by Williams and Jesse Pedyfoot, but they let other opportunities get away from them.
“We didn’t take advantage because we had some chances to go and put the ball game up a little bit more,” Morgan said.
Warren Central looked flawless on its opening series of the game, mixing runs and passes to drive 57 yards for the 7-0 lead on a 6-yard touchdown run by Williams.
The Tigers started well on their first drive, but Otis Stamps intercepted quarterback Pat Barnes to end their momentum. Six plays later, Vikings’ tight end Matt Brewer fumbled and McComb recovered at its own 45.
McComb then moved downfield to the WC 19 before WC’s Donald Neal stripped the ball away from Michael Lewis. Neal ran it for a touchdown, but a clipping penalty negated the score.
McComb moved the ball well in the first half, but ended three of four drives with turnovers.
“It’s kind of a tale of two halves,” McComb coach Ted Milton said. “Warren Central totally controlled the first half. Anytime we got a little drive going, we had a turnover.”
The Tigers stormed out to begin the second half with an 80-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 25-yard pass from Barnes to Jarrod Dyson, cutting WC’s lead in half.
Following a WC fumble, McComb drove to the Vikings’ 7-yard line to set up a fourth-and-goal. WC’s James Henderson and Pedyfoot teamed up to knock Barnes out just shy of the goal line for the turnover on downs.
Warren Central punted after a failed drive, and a 45-yard run by Dyson tied the score at 14.
“In the second half they just came out and just rammed it down our throat,” Morgan said. “We didn’t do a very good job of stopping them. We weren’t mentally prepared as a team and that goes back to my job.”