WC prepared for struggling Forest Hill

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 24, 2004

Warren Central’s Mitchell Lewis (21) sprints to the end zone for one of his three touchdowns in last week’s 63-6 win over Natchez. (Marty KitrellThe Vicksburg Post)

[9/24/04]Warren Central had two goals entering last week’s matchup with Natchez: Win the football game and play as many players as possible.

The first goal was accomplished mere minutes into the game as the Vikings ran wild over lowly Natchez, 63-6.

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The second was accomplished almost as quick. Every player on the 80-man roster saw playing time.

“Coming into that game, if things worked out the way they were supposed to, we wanted to play as many kids as we could,” Warren Central coach Curtis Brewer said. “… Games like that are one of the few opportunities you get to let guys go to positions they work at and stay there.”

Brewer doesn’t expect to be able to play 80 this week, but Forest Hill could provide an opportunity for the Vikings to play a good many.

The Rebels (2-2) opened the season with 6-point wins over Jackson Public School doormats Wingfield and Lanier before dropping its last two games to Provine and Callaway.

In those two losses, the Rebels managed only a fourth-quarter touchdown against Callaway.

Still, Brewer has some concerns. The Vikings will be playing in front of a homecoming crowd, which provides distractions for the players, and it will be the first Region 2-5A matchup.

“Homecoming is part of all these players’ lives, and they should enjoy it like any other student,” Brewer said.

Forest Hill lost standout sophomore quarterback Loviette Dixon to Hillcrest Christian before the start of the season, and will start junior Warren Mason under center.

Sophomore Steve Bunley is the Rebels’ most dangerous weapon at running back and has scored three of their five touchdowns this season. Fullback Corey Moncrief has scored the other two.

Forest Hill trailed Provine by six points at halftime, but when faced with a larger deficit later in the game, took to the air with limited success.

“(Bunley) shows a lot of potential. He’s a big, strong running back,” Brewer said. “… They have a big line and will run it right at you.”

Warren Central should be in good shape if it forces the Rebels into a passing game. Last week, WC returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and intercepted five passes against both Natchez and McComb.

“The defensive backfield has been one of our big strengths this year,” Brewer said.

Brewer added that winning the first region game is always important. Four of the eight teams make the playoffs, but only five have a realistic chance. Murrah, Forest Hill and Greenville are a combined 3-8 so far this season.

“You can’t overlook anyone, especially this time of year when the marbles are on the table,” Brewer said. “We have to come ready to play every game from here on out, no matter who the opponent is.”