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Defense leads WC by Tigers, PCA wins, Flashes fall

McCOMB Warren Central’s defense, which spent most of last week on the field against Southaven, spent the better part of Friday night falling on the football.

The Vikings (2-0) defense forced five turnovers that led to 29 points in a 29-0 throttling of McComb.

“The word around was that if Larry Warner didn’t score enough touchdowns for us to win, then we’d lose,” said WC senior defensive back Otis Stamps, who had a fumble recovery and two interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown from 1 yard deep in the end zone. “Tonight the defense had to step up and prove those people wrong.”

Michael “Tiger” Robinson recovered two fumbles, Jeremy Henderson and Chico Hunter had an interception each and Dontae Phillips caused the Tigers’ eighth fumble late in the fourth quarter.

“You cannot win a football game with eight turnovers. It doesn’t matter who you’re playing,” said McComb coach Ted Milton, whose team was playing with 25 sophomores. “Warren Central’s a heckuva football team and you are not going to beat them turning the ball over eight times.”

Warner, who torched Southaven in the opener for 301 yards on eight carries, still led all rushers with 110 yards on 13 carries. His 11-yard third quarter touchdown run with two minutes to play in the third quarter gave WC a 22-0 lead.

“We did an OK job against him, but we made too many mistakes to win,” Milton said.

Warner’s touchdown was set up by Hunter’s interception. He returned the pick 58 yards for an apparent touchdown, but a clipping penalty negated the score. Warner ran in four plays later.

“Our defense helped us out a lot tonight,” WC coach Curtis Brewer said. “I thought the offense helped us out. I thought we played a lot more intense tonight than the first game.”

Warren Central jumped out early after Stamps’ first interception less than three minutes into the game. The Vikings took over from the 26 and Christian Hales connected with Fred Payne for a 26-yard touchdown and a quick 6-0 lead.

Markie Faust fumbled on the second play of the Tigers’ next possession, and two plays later, WC fullback Dexter Carson scored from 13 yards out for a 12-0 lead.

WC added a Joey Bonelli 24-yard field goal late in the second quarter to take a 15-0 halftime lead.

“The coaches worked us hard all week,” Henderson said. “They acted like last week was a loss. They stressed that we had to take this one game at a time.”

After Warner’s third-quarter score, McComb drove to the WC 5-yard line. Stamps jumped in front of Thompson’s fourth-down pass and raced down the sideline untouched for the final score