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Vikings get chance to work out some kinks

Warren Central’s Larry Warner breaks a tackle against Forest Hill on Friday. (Brian LodenThe Vicksburg Post)

[9/27/04]With back-to-back games against weaker competition, Warren Central has had the opportunity to work on a few nagging obstacles consistency on offense, depth and improvement of special teams play.

Against both Natchez and Forest Hill, the Vikings (4-1) were able to light up the scoreboard. They moved the ball down the field with steady drives something they weren’t able to do in some of their previous efforts.

In the Red Carpet Bowl, tailback Larry Warner’s amazing game of long runs never gave the offense a chance to put together drives. Against McComb, the defense forced five turnovers to set up WC with good field position.

The Vikings’ first real test came against South Pike on Sept. 10. WC’s offense sputtered at times with three-and-outs and couldn’t muster a last-minute comeback in a 24-22 loss.

“We played in spurts,” WC coach Curtis Brewer said at the time.

The Vikings have had a chance to work on improving their mistakes. Against both Natchez and Forest Hill, WC advanced the ball with regularity and put up points early and often to outscore the two opponents 108-9.

The offense drove 83 yards on eight plays to open the game by mixing in both the pass and run. The Vikings finally scored on a 7-yard pass from Christian Hales to Michael Robinson in the corner of the end zone.

“We wanted to get out and establish the offense, get some points on the board and make them play to catch us,” Brewer said. “The offense, every chance they got, did a good job putting it in.”

Warner scored on a 70-yard run and a 37-yard punt return to put WC ahead 19-0 in the first quarter. That allowed the WC coaches to focus on another area depth.

On WC’s final possession of the first quarter, back-up quarterback Ryan Williams helped lead the second-team offense to the end zone. Carleton Davis punched in an 18-yard TD run for a 26-0 lead.

After halftime, even the junior varsity players got a chance for some playing time.

“I was glad when we got to the point in the ball game when the second offense could go in and then the JV could go in,” Brewer said. “The further the season goes, you’re fortunate to get the JV in. You’ve got to start now really getting kids playing time. When somebody gets hurt or something happens, you’ve got to have kids.”

The one area that still may need work is the special teams.

Poor punt coverage against South Pike allowed the Eagles to score the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and WC has been striving to improve ever since.

On Friday, Forest Hill’s Laramie Collins took the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, but it was called back for a block in the back that occurred at the 10-yard line after Collins already had passed the defender.

Collins also returned a kick 52 yards late in the second quarter, and Warner muffed a punt that Forest Hill recovered.

“We didn’t look as good as we should have on some special teams,” Brewer said. “We don’t have to change, we’ve got to just work and improve on it. We lost a ball game on special teams and we know the importance of them.”