WC shuts down Madison, 22-14

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 11, 2004

Madison Central’s Barlow Vance (6) is smothered by Warren Central defenders Dexter Carson, left, and Jonathan Nash during the Vikings’ 22-14 win on Friday. WC held Madison to 24 yards of offense in the second half. (Jon GiffinThe Vicksburg Post)

[10/9/04]Lights out, Madison Central.

Warren Central’s “Lights Out” defense pitched a second-half shutout and held Madison Central to 24 yards of total offense in the second half for a 22-14 victory Friday night in front of a soggy 2,500 at Viking Stadium.

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The win gives WC a 3-0 record in Region 2-5A, leaving it tied with Grenada atop the region. The two are scheduled to play on Oct. 29.

“It got real intense out there,” said WC defensive backOtis Stamps, who intercepted his fifth pass of the season late in the fourth quarter. “Somebody had to step up and make a play late.”

That somebody turned out to be two somebodies.

Warren Central led 22-14 with 3 minutes, 58 seconds to play in the game when Madison quarterback Tim Buckley was intercepted at the 14-yard line by Stamps.

Warren Central fumbled two plays later, giving the Jaguars (5-2, 2-1) the ball on the WC 21 yard line with 2:40 to play.

On the Jags’ second play, Buckley was intercepted by Chico Hunter to give the ball back to the Vikings on their own 5-yard line. WC punted three plays later, but with no timeouts the Jaguars were unable to score again.

“This might be the best defensive game we played all year,” WC coach Curtis Brewer said. “We didn’t have any time to relax tonight. With Madison, it’s 11-for-48,” he added in reference to 11 players for 48 minutes.

Larry Warner led all rushers with 136 yards on 20 carries for WC, but he came out several times with a lingering injury to his ankle.

Fred Payne, who started last season at tailback before getting hurt early in the year, filled in. He returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown, and was on the receiving end of two critical third-down completions in the first half that allowed the Vikings to take a 19-7 halftime lead.

Payne hauled in a 7-yarder with 5 minutes to play in the second quarter that set up a 1-yard Jesse Pedyfoot touchdown run. The TD gave WC a 13-7 lead. The extra point was blocked.

Barlow Vance scored on a 2-yard run for Madison with 1:52 to play in the half to give the Jaguars a 14-13 lead.

The Vikings, though, came right back and scored on Warner’s 8-yard run with 19 seconds to play in the half. Quarterback Christian Hales hooked up with Payne on a third-and-8 at the MC 25 yard line to keep the drive alive and set up Warner’s score.

“Larry needed us to step up and we did it,” Hales said. “We did what we had to do.”

Warren Central recovered an onside kick after the score, but a 51-yard field goal attempt by Joey Bonelli fell short as a steady breeze and constant rain blew in his face.

Bonelli provided the only scoring in the second half, a 37-yard field goal with 9 minutes to play. The kick gave the Vikings an 8-point cushion.

“He took some of the paint off the goal post,” Brewer said of Bonelli’s kick, which just eased over the crossbar.”

After the field goal, Madison managed only 5 yards of offense on its next three possessions combined, including the two interceptions.

“The game could have gone either way, but it didn’t go ours,” Madison coach Ted Taylor said. “Our boys played extremely hard and I am not disappointed in their effort.”

Hales finished the game with 76 yards passing on 7-of-15 passing.

Vance led Madison Central with 120 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown, and Buckley threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Mark Lynn in the first quarter. He was 0-for-6 passing in the second half, however.

“Defense. Lights out,” said Hunter, who pointed to a spirited pregame talk by assistant coach Brian Oakes as to some of the team’s intensity. “First half they were moving the ball on us, so we had to change a little at halftime. If we played together, it would be lights out.”

The Vikings will play their final regular season game away from Warren County on Friday night against Murrah. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.