Huge victories for WC, Porters Chapel

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 28, 2004

[10/23/04]Warner runs for 253 yards, Vikings clinch playoff spot in 31-0 shutout

Larry Warner skipped all of his meals Friday, preferring instead to feast on a bunch of Clinton Arrows.

Warner rushed for a game-high 253 yards 61 more than Clinton gained in total and scored two touchdowns to lead a 31-0 shellacking at Viking Stadium, WC’s first win over Clinton at home since 1996.

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The win guarantees the Vikings (8-1, 5-0 Region 2-5A) their state-record 20th straight playoff berth. A victory over Grenada next Friday will earn WC the region crown.

“They came out with a lot of momentum early and we had trouble putting the fire out,” Clinton coach Pete Hurt said. “Warren’s a good back and we didn’t tackle him most of the night.”

Hurt’s slip of Warner’s last name probably came because the diminutive back was racing past the veteran coach too quickly.

Warner scored on the second play of the game a 69-yard burst right past the Clinton bench as Warren Central opened a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Warner was coming off his worst effort of the season against Murrah, a game in which he rushed for a mere 45 yards. He thought back to the first game of the season when he burst through for 301 yards on eight carries. He didn’t eat before that game, so maybe a no-food diet was the key.

“It worked out fine, but I did get tired,” said Warner, who had 190 yards in the first half and was treated to snack cakes in the locker room.

Warren Central had 16 plays of at least 12 yards and held Clinton to 192 yards of total offense. Arrows’ standout running back Maurice Woods, who came into the game with nine touchdowns in his last three games, rushed for 60 yards on 20 carries.

“I would have never surmised that we would have played them like we did,” Warren Central coach Curtis Brewer said. “I really didn’t think we could shut them down like we did.”

Clinton turned the ball over three times and punted five more. Quarterback Brandon Boone was harassed by an aggressive Vikings’ defense and only threw for 57 yards on 7-for-22 passing.

The Arrows penetrated the Vikings 20 yard line three times in the game and came away with no points. Otis Stamps intercepted Boone twice in the end zone and Micheal Horton recovered a fumble on the 3 yard line.

“We knew it was going to be tough to carry the shutout, but we played our best,” defensive end Desmond Carson said. “There was a lot of excitement and we fed off of that.”

Holding a 14-0 lead after a Jesse Pedyfoot 35-yard touchdown run, the Vikings added another TD in the second quarter on a 5-yard run with three minutes to play in the half.

After holding the Arrows on downs, Joey Bonelli hit a 17-yard field goal on the last play of the first half for a 24-0 advantage.

“We couldn’t move the ball on offense and couldn’t stop them on defense; that’s a bad combination,” Hurt said. “… The bottom line is they just dominated us in the first half. First half was an old-fashioned tail-kickin’ by them.”

Michael “Tiger” Robinson hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Christian Hales late in the third quarter to increase the lead to 31-0. Hales finished 7 of 12 with 85 yards.

As a team, the Vikings rushed for 415 yards on 40 carries and finished with 500 yards of total offense and one fumble.

“We knew we had a big job tonight,” said WC offensive lineman Chris Kelly, who led a unit that dominated the Arrows’ defense. “We hadn’t beaten them here since 1996. We wanted to be more physical than they were.”