Waites’ header propels Vikings to win over VHS

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

[1/14/04]With one perfect kick and one nod of Rusty Waites’ head, Warren Central inscribed its name in the boys soccer record books.

Waites headed in a goal off a free kick from Will Clark in the final minute of regulation Tuesday night, giving WC a 2-1 victory over archrival Vicksburg High and its first Division 6-5A championship in three years.

“The last 10 (minutes) you’re just hoping for something to happen,” WC coach Jay Harrison said. “We got a call right here, and Will played a nice ball. We missed it once or twice before that, just by a hair … and those guys just kept plugging and plugging. They showed what kind of heart they had to come through and win that game like that.”

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Warren Central (11-5-1, 3-0 division) controlled the game in the first half, taking a 1-0 lead about 20 minutes in when A.J. Barnes scored off a throw-in from Dusty Pennington.

The Vikings outshot VHS 11-2 in the first half, but the Gators (6-5-2, 1-1) picked up the pace early in the second half and generated several solid scoring chances. Finally, with about 15 minutes to play in the game, the tide seemed to turn in Vicksburg’s favor.

Patrick Everman hit Cameron Curtis with a pass on the right wing, and Curtis ran toward the goal unchallenged. He beat WC keeper Luke Sellers high to the left side to tie the game at 1-1.

“I kept telling (Curtis) all night long that he was going to score a goal,” VHS coach Casey Smith said. “I pulled him off and told him to relax and go back in there and score me my goal. And he went back in there and got me my goal.”

Moments later, VHS caught another break when WC’s Allen Carlisle was ejected for arguing with an official. The hard red card left WC a man down for the rest of the game, and forced the Vikings to adjust their offensive strategy.

“We played one up top for the last 20 minutes,” Harrison said. “I don’t know if they picked up on it. Apparently, they didn’t.”

With about a minute to play, Clark was awarded a free kick near midfield. His kick shot straight into the back of Vicksburg’s Coleman Morrison, but the officials hadn’t ruled the ball ready for play yet and he was given another chance.

This time, Clark booted the ball to within 8 yards of the goal and Waites was on it. Waites headed a rocket past VHS keeper Jay Griffing to put the Vikings ahead 2-1, and the final whistle blew not long after.