Warren Central, Vicksburg facing watershed moments in opposite years

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 13, 2004

[10/7/04]Week seven of the prep football season will go down as the most important of the season for the two Class 5A teams in Warren County.

Warren Central and Vicksburg are at critical junctures in their respective seasons, although moving in opposite directions.

After Friday night, the state playoff picture will start to get a little clearer for some, and the hopes of even making the playoffs will either continue or be dashed in the humid October sky.

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Warren Central’s game with Madison is not just the first test the Vikings will have in region play, but will also give the winner the upper hand for the region title and a first-round playoff game at home.

Looking deeper into the playoffs, though, this game will be important because the team that finishes first in region play would potentially not have to play South Panola until the North State championship.

The runnerup in the region would potentially play a second-round game against Panola. The Tigers are as close to unbeatable riding a 21-game winning streak as exists in Mississippi high school football.

A Warren Central win over Madison, coupled with a favorable travel schedule the rest of the season, would have the Vikings in prime position. A trip to Murrah and home games against Clinton and Grenada will lead to the end-of-the-year showdown at Vicksburg.

A Warren Central victory Friday night would be huge. A Vicksburg High loss Friday night will have a similar effect, just in a different direction.

Forest Hill is winless in region, has scored 34 points in six games, and has only wins against Jackson doormats Wingfield and Lanier.

This game should be a chance for the Gators to showcase an offense that hasn’t shown up since a 52-6 win over Natchez earlier in the season.

The Gators are in desperate need of a victory. With games against Madison Central and Warren Central on the horizon, Vicksburg can ill afford to lose another region game.

Realistically, five teams are fighting for four playoff spots. Grenada, WC and Madison are all unbeaten, while Clinton is 1-1 in the region.

Vicksburg will need some help if it has a chance at making the postseason.

The Gators can certainly help themselves with a win Friday night.

A defeat will be devastating as in fold the tent kind of devastating.

But even if the Gators do reach the playoffs, they would likely be the fourth team from this region. A trip to the aforementioned South Panola in the first round would be their reward.

On second thought, maybe a win this week would be more devastating than a loss.

Sean P. Murphy is sports editor of The Vicksburg Post. E-mail him at smurphy@vicksburgpost.com.