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McComb looking for help to beat Vikings

[9/3/04]A flat tire. Hurricane Frances. A tsunami.

Longtime McComb coach Ted Milton is begging for any of the above tonight to help his Tigers slow down Warren Central’s Larry Warner.

“What can you say, he’s legit,” Milton said after watching film of Warner run over and around Southaven for 301 yards on eight carries in a 33-7 win in the season opener. “He’s listed in the program as 5-foot-6, 160-pounds and he can do a lot. Like a lot of great backs, he has great vision.”

Milton joked about having Warner get on the wrong bus and head North on U.S. 27 instead of south toward McComb. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

“Tell the coaches I have the white flag waving waiting for them to arrive,” Milton said with a chuckle.

Warren Central coach Curtis Brewer said wait just a second.

“If you travel down highway 55, there isn’t any quit,” Brewer said. “They have no quit at that place, and it hasn’t just started. They can talk about rebuilding all they want to, but you know their kids will always play hard.”

Last year was evidence enough for Brewer, then the Vikings’ defensive coordinator. Warren Central led 14-0 at halftime, but a bevy of odd plays in the second half handed McComb a 20-14 victory.

McComb recovered a WC fumble in the end zone, and the Vikings’ had a long touchdown called back because of a clipping penalty.

“You talk about that, but you don’t dwell on it,” Brewer said. “You flash a memory, but it doesn’t do any good to harp on it.”

Last year was the latest in a series filled with quality games. Two years ago, the Vikings won on the final play of the game in a driving rainstorm. The series contract expires this year, but Milton is all in favor of renewing it.

“The last three years have been knock-down, drag-out games,” Milton said. “It’s two good programs going at it. This year, though, I think Warren Central has the upper hand.”

McComb, which has 25 sophomores on its 45-man roster, is coming off a 17-14 defeat to Hattiesburg. The Tigers had the ball inside Hattiesburg territory in the fourth quarter, but were unable to score.

Junior quarterback Dominick Thompson is making his second career start against WC, and the Tigers will feature as many as four running backs.

Fullback Carlos Brister and junior tailback Markie Faust will see most of the carries. DeMorse Stewart and John Thompson will also get carries, Milton said. Thompson is the team’s starting middle linebacker as well.

After WC, ranked 12th in this week’s Associated Press Top 20 poll, McComb will tackle second-ranked Wayne County.

“It’s a demanding early schedule,” Milton said. “We start with two good 5A’s in Hattiesburg and Warren Central, then throw Wayne County in there, it’s tough.”

WC will play its home opener next Friday against South Pike, another Class 4A power.