Clash of the Titans at WC

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 10, 2004

Warren Central coach Curtis Brewer talks to his team after the Vikings’ 29-0 win over McComb last Friday.(Marty Kittrell ┬áThe Vicksburg Post)

[9/10/04]Last season a confident Warren Central team laughed and joked on the bus ride to Magnolia to face South Pike. When the Vikings arrived, it was no laughing matter as they received their biggest loss of the year a 33-9 thumping by the Eagles.

With a pair of lopsided wins early this year, No. 8 Warren Central heads into tonight’s home game against No. 12 South Pike with an air of confidence again. But this time around the Vikings are all business.

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WC coach Curtis Brewer and the Vikings’ coaching staff have shown last year’s film of the Eagles’ win for the players to remember the feeling of the loss.

“The kids get the drift that this is a good football team, this is a good football program,” Brewer said of South Pike. “If we don’t play, then we’ll be in trouble.”

Heading into tonight, South Pike has two blowouts of its own, a 54-0 shutout of North Pike and a 54-18 win over Natchez a week ago.

Along with a powerful offensive line, the Eagles feature speedy running backs Chris Abron and Sam Reed.

“They’ve got a great offensive scheme,” Brewer said. “They don’t try to be extremely complicated with a lot of plays, but they change the formations. They constantly move the formations.”

Last week, the Vikings forced turnovers early against McComb to take a 12-0 lead in the first quarter. Brewer hopes for a similar result tonight to ease the Vikings’ start.

“We got three or four turnovers right quick, and we got our points,” he said. “It put them into trying to step up, and it took a little pressure when we got our points.

“McComb and South Pike are a lot alike, they don’t ever quit. You can have your 12 points or your 14, but better not turn around and say it’s time to relax.”

Tailback Larry Warner continues to lead Warren Central’s powerful ground attack. In two games, Warner has totaled a whopping 411 yards and five touchdowns on only 21 carries.

Brewer expects South Pike to key on Warner, much like McComb did last week. He said the Eagles feature a tough defense that returns most of its players.

“They’re just in your face, all the time moving, linebackers scraping, with a lot of speed in the secondary,” Brewer said. “We just keep emphasizing to the kids how important it is to focus on what you’re doing, what we’re trying to accomplish.”

Warner was limited to 110 yards and one score last week as the Vikings’ defense took up the slack in a 29-0 shutout.

Michael “Tiger” Robinson recovered two fumbles, Jeremy Henderson and Chico Hunter each had interceptions, and Otis Stamps added a fumble recovery and a pair of picks, one of which he returned 101 yards for a touchdown.

The Vikings’ defense has allowed seven points in its two games, but Brewer said it still needs to improve as the coaches continue to tinker with the starting lineups.

“They’ve answered the call twice,” Brewer said. “You expect them to answer the third bell as well.”